The National Hockey League’s free agency signing period begins at 9 a.m. PST on Tuesday. Like many other NHL teams, the Sharks are still in talks with several of their own potential free agents, both restricted and unrestricted.
As in the past, the Sharks are primarily concerned with re-signing their own players, a plan that has been very successful in the past as they’ve prevented players such as centers Joe Thornton
and Patrick Marleau
and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov from hitting the open market.
The biggest fish in the rumor mill is defenseman Brian Campbell, an unrestricted free agent who was a late-season acquisition from Buffalo. San Jose is still negotiating with Campbell and his agent, but the All-Star defenseman has a unique set of circumstances that have him considering a return to the East. Center Curtis Brown and left wing Patrick Rissmiller are also unrestricted free agents.
If Executive Vice President/General Manager Doug Wilson does need to fill holes in his roster, he has many options. Wilson could achieve his goals by trades, free agent signings or by having new Coach Todd McLellan use current players in a different role.
As for restricted free agents, the Sharks have three who played on the team last year: left wing Ryane Clowe
, defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and center Marcel Goc. In Clowe’s case, both parties may be progressing towards an agreement. Clowe told the San Jose Mercury News
that “San Jose is where I want to be and it's just a matter of how many years fit me best.”