As the emotions of the 2010-11 season that concluded in the Western Conference Final begin to subside, Sharks Executive Vice President Doug Wilson and his staff will soon begin the process of putting together the 2011-12 roster.
Many decisions will need to be made, but heading into this summer, most of the Sharks key players are locked up for at least another season, and most have several seasons remaining in San Jose.
Up front, seven of the top nine forwards are already signed. Joe Thornton
, Patrick Marleau
, Logan Couture
, Ryane Clowe
, Dany Heatley, Joe Pavelski
and Torrey Mitchell
are already set for September’s training camp.
Devin Setoguchi is a restricted free agent, meaning the Sharks have the right to match any offer coming from another team. This provides the Sharks some control over the situation. Other restricted forwards who saw playoff action are Andrew Desjardins
, Benn Ferriero
and Jamie McGinn. RFA’s who did not see playoff action include John McCarthy and Frazer McLaren.
Kyle Wellwood is the only unrestricted free agent among the top nine. Other playoff forwards in that category include fourth liners Ben Eager, Jamal Mayers and Scott Nichol.
On the blueline, there is a little more work to do, but things are still in pretty good shape. Four of seven defensemen who helped San Jose advance to the WCF are already signed, sealed and delivered. That list includes Dan Boyle
, Douglas Murray
, Marc-Edouard Vlasic
and Jason Demers
. Justin Braun
, who Wilson has tabbed an important player for next year, is under wraps as well.
UFA defensemen include Niclas Wallin, Kent Huskins and Ian White.
The netminding situation is firm as Antti Niemi
signed a long term deal during the season and Antero Niittymaki has another year left under his contract. Thomas Greiss
, who spent most of last year in Europe is unrestricted.
There is plenty of work coming soon for Wilson and his staff, but thanks to some long term planning with the core group, not as much as there could be.