The San Jose Sharks made some minor additions this offseason, however, after seeing how cheap some of this year’s free agent class signed for, the question is: why didn’t the Sharks do more?
The team still has about $2.4 million in cap space remaining (according to CapFriendly) and considering that's for a 23-man roster, it’s a decent amount of room left when you factor in the market right now.
We saw Erik Haula sign for just $1.75 million, Andreas Athanasiou for $1.2 million, Derick Brassard and Carl Soderberg both for $1 million and Conor Sheary for just $735,000– and these were all one-year deals. It was also reported that the Sharks had been talking to both Haula and Sheary. This begs the question as to why the Sharks weren’t able to offer a bit more and sign one or two of these players. They’d certainly provide an upgrade and could’ve been a solution to the Sharks’ vacant third-line center slot (either through a player like Erik Haula slotting in directly or by adding a winger and shifting Ryan Donato to third-line center). A one-year deal for any of those players would have been a no-risk, high-reward move.
Maybe the additions could have helped the Sharks squeak into the playoffs, considering Minnesota will be the last team in the division instead of Dallas. Even if not, they could have potentially been used as trade chips at the deadline, to help build San Jose’s prospect pool.
I can understand the desire to integrate younger players into the lineup but the Sharks tried that last year and it ended with very little depth scoring. Joel Kellman was potentially the only rookie forward who fit well enough last season to earn a spot this year but he’s not even that young– Andreas Athanasiou is the same age.
While the Sharks did add Ryan Donato, along with Devan Dubnyk, Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto, they missed out on an opportunity to further upgrade their roster, with the addition of cheap free agents.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Should the Sharks have added more cheap free agents this offseason?