Rumors: but could the answer be....
Hearing a million articles and speculations regarding Wilson's conference call and comments.
On one hand, he claimed he wants to move towards a younger, faster, more aggressive team and that no option is off the table. Talked about a shift in team culture and that they did not have that many restrictive contracts. On the other hand when asked if he regretted the contracts of Thornton and Marleau, he said "no". Mentioned how Couture, Pavelski, Thornton and Marleau were signed to fair below market value contracts.
Since Wilson has straight up told people part of the plan(Letting Boyle walk, Buying out Havlat, and moving Burns back to D) as well as trying immediately to resign Stalock, people are anxious to hear the other half of the plan.
Everyone assumes the answer is straight up trading Thornton/Marleau, but could the answer to a step back to move two steps forward be something else?
Numerous insider sources on twitter confirm Thornton has not been asked to waive his NMC, and that Marleau was called in to a meeting friday, but nobody knows what about.
When talking about handing the keys to the younger guys, could Wilson be implying that the youth core will be getting all the offensive zone minutes and Powerplay time, rather than trading Thornton/Marleau.
The Sharks youth certainly has the depth to cover the top two lines. Hertl can play all 3 position and Nieto solidified his spot. Wingels had a breakout year, and we all know Pavelski/Couture are solid 1st line center caliber two way players. Could the change be indicating Thornton and Marleau will not be traded, but in fact, be minimized in their veteran role to give Pavelski and Couture room to grow and lead the team?
If this speculation holds true, They would be the most expensive bottom 6 forwards in the league, but is that such a bad thing? Both were in such a role when they won gold medals.
The lines next year could very well look like...
A few holes to fill, but nothing too crazy. Depending on if they can trade/Buy out turnover machine Kennedy or less useful Burish.
Currently, the defense is:
And goal is Niemi/Stalock(Who is already loyal and in talks to resign). Could Niemi be moved for a younger backup or platoon goalie? Possibly. Word is, Stalock will have his chance to steal the top job
Stuart is a likely candidate to be shopped, despite his limited NTC. He was awful playing on the left side. irwin may develop more, but right now, should be a #7. People hope Mueller can be another Vlasic, but coming into the NHL at 19 is rare on defense. I would not bank on it.
Picking up Niskanen on Left D should be a priority. As another member mentioned, adding a boring but dependable guy like Ron Hainsey instead of bringing back Hannan or going with Irwin could have merit. not sure what DW was thinking spending on guys like Burish Kennedy while leaving holes in Defense.
Demers and Wingels are likely to earn decent extentions. 3 to 3.5 million each. Braun will need to be kept in mind as he is going to be worth an extension. Sheppard earned another year, but no more than 1.5 million.
Some Numbers I ran on capgeek.
CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
Sharks tweaking 2015
Tomas Hertl ($0.925m) / Joe Pavelski ($6.000m) / Tommy Wingels ($3.500m)
Logan Couture ($6.000m) / Matt Nieto ($0.759m)
Patrick Marleau ($6.667m) / Joe Thornton ($6.750m) / Adam Burish ($1.850m)
Raffi Torres ($2.000m) / Andrew Desjardins ($0.750m) / James Sheppard ($1.500m)
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($4.250m) / Brent Burns ($5.760m)
Matt Niskanen ($5.500m) / Justin Braun ($1.250m)
Ron Hainsey ($2.000m) / Jason Demers ($3.500m)
Matt Irwin ($1.000m) /
Antti Niemi ($3.800m)
Alex Stalock ($1.625m)
Martin Havlat ($0.000m)
Tyler Kennedy ($0.000m)
RETAINED SALARIES (1.01% of upper limit)
Brad Stuart ($0.720m—20.00%)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $66,105,833; BONUSES: $590,833
CAP SPACE (20-man roster): $4,994,167
Its possible Demers and Wingels get more or less, same with Sheppard. This does not take into account moving Niemi or an option for Logan Couture's LW, but there is still 5 million in cap space.