Some say the best course of action for the San Jose Sharks is a full-blown rebuild. Others believe what GM Doug Wilson believes, which is that the Sharks can be competitive this season and a rebuild is not the right way to go. The reality is, hopefully the latter is true because even if the Sharks wanted to hold a fire sale and shake up the team, they probably couldn’t.
Sharks trade tiers: Who could end up getting dealt before the 2020-21 deadline? https://t.co/iUHsZytpy2— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) December 11, 2020
The organization’s lack of potentially being able to offload contracts is a serious problem but it doesn’t mean there won’t be trades. In fact, according to Kevin Kurz of The Athletic, there are a few potential names to watch for as the Sharks look to retool.
Kurz writes that as the Sharks get to set to play in a reimagined Pacific Division, “…it’s difficult to envision the Sharks finishing among the top four in a group that features a handful of legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.” He adds, “If that’s the case, remaking the roster for 2021-22 and beyond could happen sooner than later.”
Kurz then took a look at most of the names on the Sharks current roster and categorized them by the likelihood that they could be moved. Making the cut in the ” ‘every team would take their call’ tier” or the ‘has value, but limited flexibility’ tier, were a handful of names. Among them, Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane.
Kurz also listed Devan Dubnyk, Stefan Noesen and Matt Nieto as potential trade bait players but noted the only reason they could garner some interest is because they are pending unrestricted free agents with veteran experience. He adds that Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau might be players who want to go to a contender while their window to play and win is still open and the rest are either untradeable or need to prove their value first.
Kurz does suggest the team has a few pieces the Sharks might want to build around and shouldn’t be traded unless the deal is simply too good to pass up. Regardless, the Sharks are stuck with a number of players they can’t move, even if they decided to break it all down.
The fact that players like Erik Karlsson, Martin Jones, Logan Couture, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic are not going to interest other teams at their price points means the Sharks will have to ride out their respective deals. At the very least, these players are sticking with the Sharks until hockey-related revenues bounce back up and that could be a while.
In a way, the Sharks are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They know they likely won’t be competitive but they also can’t break it all down and start from scratch.