The opening day of free agency has been slow for the San Jose Sharks, but San Jose Hockey Now has been on top of the news.
Check this page for updates, here’s what I’m hearing today, all times Pacific…
Stefan Noesen is back: “Last year was kind of a gong show for me to begin with. But it ended on the best note."
— San Jose Hockey Now (@sjhockeynow) October 10, 2020
We have signed defenseman Brandon Davidson to a one-year contract with an AAV of $700,000.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 10, 2020
Some readers suggested Zach Bogosian as the veteran bottom-pairing defenseman that the San Jose Sharks should target. Here’s a reminder that in February, after Bogosian had cleared waivers and had his contract terminated, the injury-plagued Sharks passed:
Source says NOTHING to rumored #SJSharks interest in Bogosian
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) February 23, 2020
And from what I heard, it was a hard no.
Now a lot has changed in the world from February to October, of course, a coronavirus for the world, a Stanley Cup for Bogosian. So I’ll continue digging here, but just a reminder.
Doug Wilson has completed his media availability for Day 1 of free agency. Stefan Noesen should be speaking shortly.
Wilson was quick to thank Melker Karlsson and Aaron Dell for their contributions to the San Jose Sharks organization: “I’d like to thank some of our undrafted FAs like Melker Karlsson and Aaron Dell that probably won’t be with us going forward. Really appreciate what they did.”
He wouldn’t give much away in regards to Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, but did say, “Hopefully, we’ll have some news in that area in the next little while.”
Also, Wilson suggested that San Jose is still in the market for a veteran bottom-pairing defenseman, somebody who can compete with Jake Middleton, Brinson Pasichnuk, and Ryan Merkley for playing time: “You want to have a spot of competition for people. Pasichnuk signed with us. Merkley is obviously a first-round pick. [Middleton] is a quality veteran who’s paid his dues. So you want them to be able to compete. But you also want to have competition.
“You don’t want to give spots away. We’ve got five NHL-quality d-men. Our goaltending now is set. We have five top-six forwards. Ryan Donato is coming in to compete for that spot.
“Having some veterans who can be in that third and fourth-line roles, that can push, cause competition, last year, we probably didn’t have that at the beginning of the year. That’s why we picked up Patty after we started. Because Kane got suspended, Sorensen got hurt. We were putting younger players in roles that they weren’t ready for.
“This is a different time. A year later. I still want to have that balance of youthful opportunities, top players being in proper roles, and veterans who can swing around in many different roles.”
Finally, take this Wilson quote how you will: “Not necessarily looking to take on a big contract, a longer-term contract for an older player, get in the way of appropriate opportunities for some of our younger players.”
It’s not surprising, of course, but you figure this takes the San Jose Sharks out of even the next tier of non-Taylor Hall UFA forwards — Evgenii Dadonov, Tyler Toffoli, for example, which we could’ve guessed anyway because of the Sharks’ lack of cap space. Perhaps a step below that — Craig Smith, Mikael Granlund — will also be too rich for San Jose’s blood. So who’s left? Are even Jesper Fast and Mattias Janmark too expensive? The team still needs one or two more third-line caliber forwards.
Perhaps a younger non-qualified RFA who’s now a free agent?
San Jose Hockey Now has learned terms of Noesen’s new contract from a source: One year, $925K.
San Jose, can you say Hakuna Matata!!! We back!! 🦈🦈 pic.twitter.com/Jq3d2rrjob
— Stefan Noesen (@stefannoesen) October 9, 2020
Rangers announce that they’ve signed San Jose Barracuda free agents Jonny Brodzinski and Anthony Greco.
OFFICIAL: Rangers announce free agency signings.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 9, 2020
I’ve heard that the San Jose Sharks did reach out on Michael Grabner. Elliotte Friedman reported earlier Grabner’s camp informed interested teams that he’d be holding off on making any decision on where to sign until closer to the beginning of the 2020-21 season. San Jose was one of those teams. So let’s circle back on this later.
By the way, here’s what an NHL scout said about Grabner recently:
The San Jose Sharks did not reach out on defenseman Mark Borowiecki, who later signed with Nashville. Personally, I thought Borowiecki might be a good fit with the Sharks. San Jose needs a bottom-pairing defenseman and Borowiecki is good friends with Erik Karlsson.
San Jose Hockey Now broke that UFA Melker Karlsson will not be re-signing with the San Jose Sharks:
Sharks UFA Dalton Prout is holding off on making a decision about where he’s playing until closer to the beginning of next season.
Here's an update on one #SJSharks UFA: Dalton Prout, who had his lone SJS season cut short by 2 concussions, is going to continue to train & see where things are when we get closer to season. Good luck to Dalton, those were some unfortunate injuries last year!
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) October 9, 2020
Kevin Kurz reports that Patrick Marleau is likely to return on a one-year deal:
Regarding Patrick Marleau: Most likely scenario is he returns on a cheap one-year deal like last season, from what I understand. I know he’s in town and skating locally, still planning on playing.
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) October 9, 2020
Joe Thornton confirms that he’s coming back next year, but where?
Spoke with Joe Thornton this morning over the phone from Switzerland. He said while he does absolutely plan to return to play next season, he's in no hurry to make his decision. Also he may play some Swiss League hockey for a bit as well.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 9, 2020
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