The goaltending carousel continues today, as Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic tweets that Martin Jones will be bought out by the San Jose Sharks. The veteran goaltender will be placed on unconditional waivers today as the first buyout window comes to a close. With three years left on his current deal, San Jose will now be forced to carry a buyout penalty through the 2026-27 season. Those penalties will be:
- 2021-22: $1,916,667
- 2022-23: $2,416,667
- 2023-24: $2,916,667
- 2024-25: $1,666,667
- 2025-26: $1,666,667
- 2026-27: $1,666,667
Jones, 31, has been one of the worst starting goaltenders in the league over the last three seasons, posting an .896 save percentage in each campaign. Despite that poor performance, he’s still received 135 starts from the Sharks and incredibly has a winning record at 68-53-11. Even this season, despite the Sharks finishing seven games below .500, Jones still went 15-13-4. It’s entirely reasonable to suggest that the team wouldn’t be in the troubling situation they are with better goaltending, and they’ll finally get to test that theory by moving on from Jones.
The Sharks brought in Adin Hill just before the expansion draft and could hand him the reins, though bringing in another veteran goaltender to share the load is likely. Hill also needs to be signed, as he currently is a pending restricted free agent with arbitration rights. The 25-year-old netminder has just 49 games of NHL experience under his belt, though has posted a .915 save percentage over the last two seasons, a significant upgrade from the performance that Jones was providing.
What Jones’ market in free agency will look like is anyone’s guess, given how poorly he has played for the last three seasons. With so much money still being paid out by the Sharks, a short-term low-cost contract as a tandem or backup could be his best scenario to prove he can still play at the NHL level.