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What Might Trading for Stalock Mean for Sharks?

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Credit: Bakersfield Condors

Alex Stalock is coming back to the San Jose Sharks organization.

The Sharks acquired Stalock, 34, from the Edmonton Oilers for future considerations.

“The acquisition of Alex gives our club another goaltender with significant NHL experience,” Sharks acting GM Joe Will said in a press release. “He is a player we are very familiar with and someone who is extremely well-liked by his teammates.”

Stalock was a San Jose Sharks’ fourth-round draft pick in 2005. He has played in 151 NHL games with the Sharks and Minnesota Wild.

Stalock last played in the NHL in Aug. 2020. That season, he played a career-high 38 games and enjoyed a 20-11-4 record with a .910 Save %.

He missed the entirety of the 2020-21 campaign because of myocarditis, a COVID-caused inflammation of the heart muscle.

He was also projected to miss the 2021-22 season, but in January, his own doctors cleared him for a comeback with the Bakersfield Condors. He returned to action on Jan. 23 against the San Jose Barracuda, and has gone 3-1-0 with an .862 Save % with the Condors.

It’s unclear where Stalock will start, with the San Jose Sharks or the Barracuda. But conveniently enough, the Condors were playing the Barracuda at Sharks Ice when the trade was consummated.

According to San Jose Hockey Now writer Lizz Child, Stalock found out mid-game. Since he didn’t dress for tonight’s contest, the Barracuda simply moved his gear over to their locker room.

So what does this trade mean for the San Jose Sharks?

It could spell bad news for James Reimer, who left Tuesday’s game against the Golden Knights early with a lower-body injury. The Sharks had Wednesday off but will be back at practice on Thursday, where we’ll learn more about Reimer’s fate.

If Reimer is out, the San Jose Sharks are hoping that Adin Hill can take control of the net. But Hill himself has been out since Jan. 22 with an undisclosed lower-body injury. He is returning to full practice on Thursday, with an eye toward playing this weekend.

There’s also Zach Sawchenko, who has just three mop-up NHL games to his credit. Sawchenk took over for Reimer in Vegas and stopped 18 of 20 shots.

But with this much uncertainty in goal for the San Jose Sharks, it can’t hurt to add a proven NHL netminder like Stalock. If healthy, he could prove to form an experienced tandem with Reimer or Hill, or he could provide veteran insurance for the duo.

The Sharks next play on Saturday versus the Nashville Predators at SAP Center.

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