The San Jose Sharks are still in a bit of a cap crunch and a stagnant salary cap certainly doesn’t help that. In this article, I’ll give a breakdown of what their cap situation looks like and whether or not they can add to their lineup in the offseason.
Right now, the Sharks have about $67.4 million committed to 16 players (10 forwards, five defenseman and a goalie), with about $14.1 million in cap space remaining to spend on the other seven players on their 23-man roster (according to CapFriendly.com).
The key restricted free agent is Kevin Labanc and the key unrestricted free agent is Joe Thornton (I’m assuming that Melker Karlsson won’t be back). On Labanc’s next contract, the price will depend on the term, but I could see a four-year deal at around $4 million per year. If Thornton re-signs, it’ll almost certainly be another one-year deal, though the price may be about $1.5 million instead of $2 million this time, based on the declining production. We can also assume Antti Suomela would only cost about $750,000 if he returns.
Between the three players at those prices, the Sharks would be committing about $6.25 million and would mean there would then be 13 forwards under contract. It would also leave $7.85 million for the remaining four players.
Considering the Sharks have five defenders under contract for next season, they would need a replacement for Tim Heed, as well as a backup goalie. The Sharks may look to sign a cheap free agent for each position on a one-year deal around $1 million each. The other two players (of the four roster spots) would simply be spares, who we can factor in at a combined price of about $1.5 million. That would mean another $3.5 million committed to the four players.
So with this 23-man roster, the Sharks would likely have around $4 million in cap space remaining.
- Logan Couture
- Tomas Hertl
- Evander Kane
- Timo Meier
- Kevin Labanc
- Marcus Sorensen
- Joe Thornton
- Joel Kellman
- Dylan Gambrell
- Noah Gregor
- Antti Suomela
- Lean Bergmann
- Alex True
So with a bit of space left, it becomes a matter of where they’d want to spend that remaining money. Would they look for cheap veteran forwards to add depth? Would they try to add a defender? Or would they look to add a goalie to split time with Martin Jones? It could also be a combination of two of the options or even all three, based on who they go after.
Regardless, the Sharks do have some cap space available and should do what they can to make some upgrades.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Will the Sharks add a goalie in the offseason who can either split time with Martin Jones or take over the starting job?