The NHL’s free agency period begins on Friday, July 1 and Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson will be on the lookout for possible fits to bump his club to the next level. Wilson has always been smart about not letting the feeding frenzy of July 1 force him into overpaying for a player that will hurt the Sharks down the road, but he has used it to deftly over the years to provide some skill and grit to his high powered club.
Wilson has already locked up his team’s core and would primarily be looking to supplement his roster already stocked full with stars like Joe Thornton
, Patrick Marleau
, Dan Boyle
, Dany Heatley, Antti Niemi
, the newly acquired Brent Burns
On the forward lines, it’s already been determined that Scott Nichol and Jamal Mayers won’t be returning, but the Sharks have a stable of younger players, like Jamie McGinn and Andrew Desjardins
, who have shown they are itching for full-time NHL work.
The Sharks will still need to decide on things with forward Kyle Wellwood (35 GP, 5 G, 8A) and have parted ways with Ben Eager (34 GP, 4 G, 3 A, with SJ) who moved on to Edmonton. It might be a possibility to add a player from the outside if the fit is there.
On the backend, the two regulars from last year who are free agents are Ian White (23 GP, 2 G, 8 A, with SJ) and Kent Huskins (50 GP, 2 G, 8 A). San Jose is very full on the blueline with Boyle, Douglas Murray
, Marc-Edouard Vlasic
, Burns, Jason Demers
and the blossoming Justin Braun
, so not much may need to be done.
Both Niemi and Antero Niittymaki are under contract in net, so Wilson is not required to look elsewhere for this position.
It will be the usual hectic July 1 in the NHL with more news trickling in over the weekend, but if the Sharks dive into the free agent waters, it will be for the right player at the right cost.