The San Jose Sharks will be without the services of a couple of key forwards for the short term. Mike Grier (had his knee scoped) and Jeremy Roenick a(shoulder) are expected to miss significant amount of games the remainder of the season, but both are expected to be ready for the postseason.
“Both are going to be out an extended period,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan.
In order to help shore up the front lines, Brad Staubitz and Lukas Kaspar were called up. Staubitz was in San Jose for the morning skate and skated in a line with Tomas Plihal and Jonathan Cheechoo. The top two lines remained in tact, but it appeared the third line could have a mix of Alexei Semenov, Claude Lemieux, Jody Shelley or Kaspar.
With Evgeni Nabokov still battling a bit of the flu, McLellan will put Brian Boucher in net for the evening’s match up against the Dallas Stars.
“Nabby won’t go tonight,” said McLellan, noting that his No. 1 will still be able to backup. “We wanted to play Boucher more and with Nabby not 100 percent, now is the time.”
Even with the injuries, there is one are McLellan is hoping to see some improvement from his team.
“For us, we have to see our five-on-five play improve,” said McLellan.
If the above mentioned players are able to return for the postseason, it could be a very quiet trade deadline for San Jose.
“As an organization, we’re quite happy with what we have here,” said McLellan. “We believe this group can get it done.”
While no time frame has been given on Grier and Roenick, the playoffs don't appear to be much of a problem.
"They will be back and healthy for the playoffs," said Sharks GM Doug Wilson.
There are also rumors regarding Johnathan Cheechoo and Wilson noted that the Moose Factory, Ont. product is not up for grabs.
SHARKS SIGN BRADON MASHINTER
Wilson announced today that the team has signed unrestricted free agent forward Brandon Mashinter
to an entry-level contract. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Mashinter, a 20-year old left wing, is currently playing for the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League, where he was acquired via trade from the Kitchener Rangers in December.
The six-foot-four, 232-pound native of Bradford, Ontario has posted 53 points (30 goals, 23 assists) in 47 games, with a plus-nine rating and 67 penalty minutes.
“We are very pleased to be able to add a player of Brandon’s caliber to our organization,” said Wilson. “Brandon’s career has really blossomed this season and he deserves a lot of credit, along with Belleville General Manager and Head Coach George Burnett.
“The San Jose Sharks have always been about building a team through the NHL Entry Draft but also adding key young players, like Brandon, to the mix along the way. We strongly feel that these players deserve the first opportunity to show what they can do for our franchise and we will continue to provide them that opportunity.
“Our scouting staff does a tremendous job and I would particularly like to thank Bryan Marchment for his role in this process. In recent seasons, we have seen several free agent players join our organization and make an impact, such as Josh Gorges, Patrick Rissmiller and Tom Preissing. We look forward to providing Brandon the same opportunity.”
Tonight’s game will be carried on Armed Forces Television Network.
The Sharks wore St. Patrick’s themed jerseys for the morning skate which were numbered and lettered in green with a shamrock on the number. The sweaters will be auctioned off in two different groups on March 5 and March 14.
San Jose will host Pacific Division rival Dallas at 7:30 p.m. on tonight and the game will be on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com. Tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office or at www.ticketmaster.com.