Just like every summer for all National Hockey League member clubs, there will be offseason decisions for the Sharks hockey department and for some Sharks players. Whether it’s a trade, free agent comings or goings or young Worcester players forcing their way full-time into the San Jose lineup, there is always a degree of change for NHL teams in the offseason.
The position teams are in with regards to contracts plays a role in the process and, as a whole, the Sharks stand in a pretty strong position.
Among the forwards who ended the regular season with the team or who played in the postseason, those under contract for 2010-11 are Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton
, Ryane Clowe
, Torrey Mitchell
, Jamie McGinn and Logan Couture
. Defensemen under contract are Dan Boyle
, Marc-Edouard Vlasic
, Douglas Murray
, Kent Huskins and Jason Demers
. Thomas Greiss
is the lone NHL netminder under contract.
Then there are those players who are restricted free agents. In short, if they signed with another club, San Jose would have the right to match any offer or receive compensation via draft picks if they had made qualifying offers. Up front, these players are Joe Pavelski
, Devin Setoguchi and Brad Staubitz. No NHL defensemen or goalies are restricted free agents.
The unrestricted free agents, those who can sign anywhere they want beginning July 1 with no compensation are: forwards Patrick Marleau
, Scott Nichol, Manny Malhotra, Jed Ortmeyer and Dwight Helminen; defensemen Rob Blake, Niclas Wallin and Jay Leach. Netminder Evgeni Nabokov is also an unrestricted free agent.
It adds up to one top-six forward (Marleau), one top-four blueliner (Blake) and Nabokov who can sign elsewhere without compensation. However, until July 1, the Sharks are the only team that can negotiate with those players.
On Wednesday the Sharks will come together for the final time as a team before everyone begins moving their separate ways for the summer. They will gather at Sharks Ice to have meetings, clean out their lockers and say their farewells.