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Chummin...Sharks season in review


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PRESEASON OUTLOOK Sharks are aging, still some talent hanging around but a lot of bad long term contracts and a ton of question marks among the kids, the net looked like a mess as well. Some felt if thing went right they might contend for a low end playoff spot. Others felt they might be among the leagues worst.


FINAL RECORD 32-37-13 77 points, 6th in the Pacific. 


HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR They were surprisingly decent to start the year and to  midseason.  When on January 17th they blew out the Kings 6-2 led by a career high five goal night by Timo Meier they were at 21-17-2 and in a playoff spot.


LOW POINT OF THE YEAR They then lost nine of ten, going 1-5-4 with the last three against non playoff teams. The season was essentially over, they hung 8-10 points out of a spot waiting for a hot streak that never came.


WHAT WENT RIGHT Timo Meier became an absolute stud, he was a point a game player and led the team in goals with 35. Hertl was fantastic, Couture was solid. Burns is no longer a point a game player but had a solid year. Barabanov came out of nowhere to have a solid year. Karlsson was doing a good job through the first 50 games before being lost for the year. A couple  of guys who arent really prospects but can play a bit like Balcers, Dahlen and Gregor were goodish.  Ferraro looked really good when healthy. Jeffrey Vial brought snarl if not much else. Adin Hill was solid, Reimer was very good, and they added possible goalie of the future in Kahkonen who didnt look good in his month with the Sharks but may have been putting pressure on himself. Center Thomas Bordeleau had an impressive nhl start to his career after a fine sophomore season with the Wolverines.


WHAT WENT WRONG Vlasic looked bad, slow and uncertain. They missed among the leagues LEAST amount of man games missed so that cannot be used as an excuse. Kevin Lebanc missed a bunch of time and was pretty bad when he played, he is considered the leagues leading buyout candidate. Meloche and Merkley got their first chance at real NHL minutes when Karlsson/Ferraro went down and neither impressed. Look, the team had very few people who I would say sucked, but the problem is they are simply average near everywhere.


  FREE AGENTS Barabanov is an UFA and frankly needs resigned, other than he there isnt really anyone of import.


TOP PROSPECTS William Eklund got a 9 game look and will look to crack the middle six this year with a chance to be top line winger. Bordeleau was a point a game player at Michigan and the former second rounder will look to stick around as a 3C with upside. Ozzy Weisblatt will bounce between the Sharks and Barracuda in 22-23 in all likelihood and is built like the perfect power froward for todays fast placed game. Merkley is supposed to be a solid prospect but I think he will flame out because he is a defenseman who simply cannot play defense. IMHO his only hope is to move him to the wing. Dahlen is a 24 year old who since turning pro has bounced through several organizations and back to Europe. IMHO he is not a prospect at 24 and is hanging on by his fingernails to an NHL career. Meloche is no longer a prospect but an established 3rd pair defender with I guess a bit of upside. Noah Gregor is now established as at least a third liner, also with a bit of upside. John Leonard is a C plus prospect who should find a job on the team full time this coming season. guys like Kynzhof, Chmelevski, Reedy, Gadjovich Weatherby and Pederson all get games here and there. I guess one of them might develop a bit and have something resembling a career but I doubt it for any of them. 

  so San Jose has a top end winger in Eklund, a pretty solid middle six center in Bordeleau and Weisblatt who is still at least a year away. After that the prospects are all much more suspect and I doubt any of them ever has anything resemblng a career in the NHL.


STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR The goals against in the 43 games that Merkley did not appear in was 2.98, the goals against in the 39 games that he did appear in was 3.46 or in almost half a season with and without him in the lineup the gaols against was right at half a goal per game worse when he was on the ice, the worst of any player who I could find with a near fifty/fifty split in games with and without him in the lineup. 


OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Reimer and Hill both have another year on their deals with Kahkonen on board do you trade Reimer to add a player to fill a need? the trip of Burns/Karlsson/Vlasic make 27 million between them for at least three more years. Can you move one out? If so, what would you have to package to get a team to take one of them off your hands? Hattaka, Meloche and Ferraro round out the defense, can the younger three stay healthy and carry the older three up and down the ice? Couture and Hertl are signed long term can they justify it better than the defenseman? Should they buy out LeBlanc who has two years at 4.25 million per on his deal?

   Lets be honest, there are not a paths to victory that I see with this team. Old and slow as the game has switched more than ever to young and fast is a bad place to be. This is a team that I see as irrelevant and uninteresting for at least the next four years or so. Giving up at least a first to get a team to take Karlsson or Burns is about the only chance that I can see for them to get out of cap hell. 

Edited by yave1964
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1 hour ago, FireDillabaugh said:

Very worried that Joe Will, or whoever they decide to bring in to take over the GM job, will target Fletcher for a move like this.  It's the type of player that Chuck LOVES to bring in to damage the organization he "manages".

Feel the same way with the Wings, lol. Just trusting the Yzerplan, he doesnt make too many dumb moves. Not sure if Arizona would do it, they are accumulating assets and futures but maaaan, that term/money for Karlsson is insane. 

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