With the hopes of avoiding a full-on rebuild, the San Jose Sharks and general manager Doug Wilson are attempting to figure out how to revitalize their team after suffering the loss of free agent Patrick Marleau and the realization that they might be moving on from 38-year-old Joe Thornton. The team still made the playoffs last year and have quite a few solid veterans still on the team, but the team suddenly is lacking in superstars not named Brent Burns.
Paul Gackle of the Mercury News writes that as the San Jose Sharks are set to focus on tonight’s home game against the New York Islanders, don’t be surprised if the Sharks make a run at their star forward John Tavares, either at the trade deadline or free agency itself if it gets very far. Tavares, who is in the last year of a six-year, $33MM deal, has not signed an extension and has made it clear that he is waiting to make sure the Islanders find themselves a permanent home before signing. However, there are some who feel that he will not re-sign with the team and the Islanders will be forced to trade him at the trade deadline or lose the 27-year-old center for nothing.
Gackle writes that San Jose would be a perfect fit for Tavares, who could come in and supply the team with a superstar that can replace Marleau and Thornton. However, despite the great fit and the fact the team should have the cap room to make a deal for Tavares work, the team could struggle at the cap like the Chicago Blackhawks as they already are committed to Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and will have to pay up for Logan Couture in two years. It might still be worth the effort to make a deal like that happen, because the Sharks would like to be a team that could make the necessary changes and stay in the playoffs like the Detroit Red Wings once did when they switched from Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan to Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom.
- The Vegas Golden Knights issued an update on injured wing Erik Haula, who was placed on injured reserve today with a lower body injury. According to the Golden Knights’ website, Haula is expected to miss at least a week with his injury. That will give general manager George McPhee more time to manipulate his roster before he must make a cut to activate Haula.
- Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports writes that the Boston Bruins struggles on offense can easily be looked at the rookies as the team has handed major roles to Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk and defenseman Charlie McAvoy this year. And while the scribe points out that there are plenty of veterans who are fighting with their consistency as well, the rookies struggles to consistently play their game could be what holds up early success for the Bruins until they can figure things out. “It’s up to them to do what they do best, which is attack, play inside and get to the net,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy. “Hopefully, they do a little bit more of that as a line. Some guys catch on quicker than others. We knew there would be consistency issues as every young kid goes through them. So we saw highs in the first game and some lows in the second game, and we saw them starting to come out of it in the third period [in Colorado]. We’re going to try to keep them confident, but also on their toes and aware of what needs to be better.”