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Trade Coverage

Forward Marleau could be trade chip for defenseman or forward

Sharks NHL Trade Deadline outlook

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

Marleau's power-play goal

CGY@SJS: Marleau chips it through on PP to cut lead

2/11/16: With the two-man advantage, Joe Thornton finds Patrick Marleau, who chips it past Kari Ramo to cut the lead to one in the 2nd period

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With the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline approaching at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, Feb. 29, is taking a close look at what moves teams might be looking to make and whether they'll be buyers or sellers. Today, the San Jose Sharks:

Record: 29-20-5, 2nd in Pacific Division

Unrestricted free agents: Mike Brown, RW; Dainius Zubrus, LW; Alex Stalock, G

Restricted free agents: Tomas Hertl, C/LW; Matt Nieto, LW; Dylan DeMelo, D; Matt Tennyson, D

Projected 2016 Draft Picks: 9 (0 first)

Projected 2017 Draft Picks: 8 (1 first)

Needs: Defense depth, backup goaltender

Surpluses: Forwards

Players Potentially in Play: Patrick Marleau, Ben Smith, Stalock, Nieto

Likely status: Buyer

Skinny: General manager Doug Wilson has done more selling than buying at the trade deadline the past three years stockpiling draft picks. Last season, with the Sharks sinking in February, Wilson sent Tyler Kennedy to the New York Islanders and James Sheppard to the New York Rangers in deadline trades. He also traded Andrew Desjardins to the Chicago Blackhawks for Ben Smith, who is currently playing for San Jose of the American Hockey League. This season, the Sharks are making a strong run to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Wilson will likely try to strengthen his roster at the deadline. The most glaring need is depth on the blue line. The Sharks struggled when top-four defensemen Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun and Paul Martin were out of the lineup at different times earlier this season. San Jose's sixth defenseman is rookie Dylan DeMelo, who has been solid but lacks experience. Matt Tennyson, who has rarely played this season, is next in line in case of an injury. Wilson has made most of his blockbuster trades either in the offseason or early in the regular season. He landed Joe Thornton in November 2005, Dan Boyle in July 2008 and Brent Burns in June 2011. The Sharks don't own a 2016 first-round draft pick to use as trade fodder -- that went to the Boston Bruins in a trade for goaltender Martin Jones on June 30. Patrick Marleau might be a trade chip for a defenseman or a forward. According to multiple reports earlier this season, Marleau told the Sharks he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for a select number of teams. Trading Marleau, however, might be risky unless the Sharks landed a skilled, experienced forward in return. Marleau is a key member of the Sharks' top power-play unit, is fourth on San Jose with 35 points and is still the Sharks' fastest skater, although his minus-17 rating is San Jose's worst. Since Marleau's move from wing to center on the second line, with center Logan Couture moving to the third line, the Sharks have had strength down the middle and a more balanced scoring attack. They could use an upgrade at backup goaltender; Stalock is 3-5-2 with a 2.94 goals-against average and .884 save percentage.

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