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REPORTS: ‘Belief’ Sharks Will Claim Goodrow, ‘Trade Interest’ in Atkinson?



Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

If the reports are accurate, the San Jose Sharks’ off-season plan is becoming clear.

It looks like GM Mike Grier is prioritizing will over skill, perhaps in the forms of Cam Atkinson and Barclay Goodrow.

Atkinson is a six-time 20-goal scorer, even surpassing 30 twice, so he’s got plenty of skill. At 5-foot-8 though, it’s just as much his will, his fearlessness around the net that has brought him success.

The 35-year-old, who didn’t play all of the 2022-23 season with a herniated disc, slumped to just 13 goals this year, a career-low for a full season. The Philadelphia Flyers appear to be trying to off-load the last year of his contract, $5.875 million AAV.

According to Darren Dreger, San Jose has “trade interest, but sources say Atkinson isn’t keen on a move to the Sharks. Philly will eat a good chunk of the final year of his contract. Buyout is also an option, as is keeping him in the mix.”

Atkinson has a 10-Team No-Trade List, maybe San Jose is on that.

But perhaps Atkinson will change his mind over the summer? The relentless heart-and-soul winger would add some much-needed pushback to the cellar-dwelling San Jose Sharks. San Jose Hockey Now sources agree that he’s the exact type of player that you want around your youngsters, the likes of Macklin Celebrini, Will Smith, and William Eklund.

He’s not a bad bet to return to his 20-goal ways with plenty of playing time in San Jose too.

While Goodrow doesn’t have Atkinson’s skill, there’s no doubt that he has every bit the will.

Goodrow went from an undrafted free agent, signed by the San Jose Sharks in 2014, to a back-to-back Stanley Cup winner with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020 and 2021. He wasn’t just a passenger on those title runs either — he was entrusted to protect  leads in the last seconds of both championship-clinching games.

Goodrow, 31, was just waived by the New York Rangers, with three years left on his contract at $3.642 million AAV. This was after an up-and-down campaign: On one hand, Goodrow scored six goals in 16 playoff games. On the other hand, this followed a regular season where he scored just four goals in 80 contests.

But like Atkinson, Goodrow is the exact presence that you want in the locker room to guide your youth.

Mollie Walker of the NY Post reported that “there is belief there is a pre-arranged deal for the Sharks to claim Goodrow.”

If so, claiming Goodrow and chasing Atkinson would represent a different look than Grier’s work last summer, which seemed to lean more into skill than will with the likes of offense-first wingers like Anthony Duclair, Mike Hoffman, and Filip Zadina. Reportedly, the Sharks also tried to sign UFA Vladimir Tarasenko.

Grier did find skill and will in Mikael Granlund, perhaps he can find a couple more two-way forces like that this summer?

Goodrow and Atkinson would be a step in the right direction.

Should Sharks Acquire Goodrow? 2 NHL Scouts Say Yes (+)

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