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Sharks' Wilson stays busy, trades Justin Braun to clear cap space

June 18, 2019, 1:50 PM ET [12 Comments]
Steve Palumbo
San Jose Sharks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson must have a phone glued to his ear because he has not stopped working since his teams season ended weeks ago.

In the last few days, he re-upped Erik Karlsson and on Tuesday he sent veteran defenseman Justin Braun to Philadelphia for a couple of picks and some much-needed cap relief.

In return for the 32-year-old d-man, the Sharks get a 2019 second-round pick and 2019 third-round pick from the Flyers. The Sharks had to make the move to clear cap space after re-signing Karlsson to that massive 8-year, $92 million deal on Monday.

San Jose frees up $3.8 million in cap space to help re-sign a slew of players in need of new deals and raises.

After the trade, the Sharks have approximately $16M in cap space to try and re-sign some of their soon-to-be free agents. Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc are RFA's. Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Joonas Donskoi and Gustav Nyquist are all unrestricted.

The real focus will be on keeping Pavelski in the mix. The captain is coming off a 38-goal season and deserves a raise from the $6 Million per he was getting. Jeff Skinner just got $9 mil per and I think Pavelski's proven he's less of a risk than one good season. I expect the captain will get somewhere in the $7 to $7.5 range.

Despite being 34-years-old, Pavelski has shown he can still score goals in bunches and he is the heart and soul of the Sharks after all. I have no reason to believe he can't maintain a productive level. He has a very unique set of skills in the art of the deflection. As long as Joe can park himself in front of the net and get a stick on the puck, there is a place for him in this league.

The Sharks salary structure is very top-heavy with Logan Couture, Evander Kane, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Karlsson, and Brent Burns all making north of $7 million per season. Add Pavelski in there and expect Meier to get in the $6 mil range and that a lot of money tied up in seven players.

Continue to keep a close eye on the Sharks this offseason. Wilson is one of the best in the business and there is no doubt that he's not done yet. He still needs more financial relief if he plans on keeping this group together.

Wilson's track record shows that he is willing and able to do whatever it takes to make his team competitive. In the last year and a half, he's made eight significant trades to bolster his draft stock and everyday roster. Expect more magic from the magician.

Thanks for reading,
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