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Our Too Early Sharks’ Off-Season Plan



Here’s our too-early San Jose Sharks’ off-season plan!

***Quick aside, Keegan’s microphone is muffled a bit this episode. We’re sorry, everyone! One day, we’ll have pristine audio every single time. But not this day. This is kind of like those workplace accident signs where they knock off 100 days since the last accident and replace it with zero. Again. Sigh.***

This week, Sheng and Keegan outline some potential off-season moves that could help make the 2024-2025 version of the Sharks be less embarrassing than this year’s. (53:45)

But before all that, we have a few quick-hitting topics this week (1:15).

We start with Will Smith watch: Is he signing or not? (2:30)

Sheng and Keegan preview the upcoming May 7th Draft Lottery odds and each run a simulation at Tankathon. Do the Sharks win? (6:10)

We highlight what Sheng has heard about some potential candidates for Sharks head coach. (13:15)

John McCarthy and the rest of the San Jose Barracuda coaching staff will be returning next season, despite some poor on-ice results. Why do Sheng and Keegan support their return? (29:30)

The Sharks want goaltending coach Thomas Speer back, even after David Quinn was let go. (37:21)

Finally, we revisit our pre-season bold predictions…how did Sheng and Keegan do? (42:20)

Finally, our off-season plan! Which of their free agents should the Sharks keep or let go? Who should they target in the free agency market? Can they make a good trade? (53:45)

How much cap and roster space could the San Jose Sharks have? (54:45)

Which of the Sharks’ UFAs and RFAs will they keep? Who should they allow to walk? (57:45)

What’s the order of positional need for San Jose this summer? (1:14:33)

Let’s talk to free agents first — Sheng has a couple intriguing longshot UFA targets. (1:22:14)

Keegan offers a longshot UFA signing at defense. (1:35:55)

Then, Keegan shares his favorite lower-end UFA targets. (1:39:00)

Sheng has a former Sharks defenseman in mind. (1:41:30)

Finally, Keegan offers some forward UFAs with some upside. (1:46:10)

That’s free agency, how can the San Jose Sharks improve via trade? (1:58:24)

Keegan proposes a Mikael Granlund trade. (1:58:44)

Going back, Sheng discusses why the Mikey Eyssimont trade was such a mistake, and how the thinking behind the deal helped pave the way for a disastrous 2023-24. (2:03:30)

What should Grier’s trade philosophy be this summer? (2:16:25)

Sheng is prioritizing distressed assets – who are a couple defenseman that the Sharks could target via trade? (2:17:55)

How about a trio of center candidates? (2:20:51)

Are the San Jose Sharks a better team with a couple of these realistic additions? (2:32:05)

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I keep thinking that there is more to the Ray Tufts firing than meets the eye. What is the possibility that if the sharks don’t win the #1 pick in the draft that they hire Rick Celebrini away from the Warriors and in the ultimate power move threaten whoever gets the pick with the Cutter Gauthier scenario to force a trade of their #2/#3 pick plus the Pens pick for #1 overall and Macklin?


I never thought of the Tufts situation but did wonder if a team like Anaheim (which has ample young center talent) won the draft lottery if a deal was possible. Would it be worth it? We need a #1 D also so Levshunov isn’t a bad consolation prize.


Hey Sheng, is there an SJHN email or some way to send you a message?


An underrated benefit to guys like Dillon, DeMelo and Goodrow is that they were part of that bygone Sharks era. Kind of like with the coaching it doesn’t make sense for preexisting connections to be a priority, but it can be a bonus. Couture and Vlasic are the only players left from those days, and their futures are iffy. I think adding back a few of the Sharks still out there would have a good PR impact. Will they put butts in seats on their own? No, but maybe you sell a few Dillon jerseys and you can replace the… Read more »

Ricky W

I remember Griers first week on the job and how he kept saying ad nauseam that he wants to fill the building with high character salt of the earth good human beings off the ice. I hope that his mission statement doesn’t get in the way of acquiring high quality hockey players because you would think that 98% of the league would be tolerable humans for most part. Some times you need some guys that are a little prickly.


On getting the high end d-man or forward, the Sharks have a much better shot in 2025-26. You mention Brady Skjei. I get it and I like the fit. But … what’s the pitch? I offered a pitch for Patrick Kane for this past season. The pitch being he can play most of the season in San Jose, then pick among legit contenders at the trade deadline. Instead of signing early in the season for a team which may or may not be headed to the playoffs. Turns out, that team didn’t get in. But they could have paid Kane… Read more »


The Sharks get a retention slot back next summer, so if you’ve signed Skjei for 3-4 years what does it matter? Trade him after year one instead of during. Same outcome.


He may not want to risk getting stuck in SJ for the extra year.


It would be worth it because he’s getting paid more than he would have by any other team. Playing time and money are what the Sharks can offer over a lot of other teams. It’s like he’s signing a cell contract for a discounted rate for the first year. Got to do the 1 year penance to get the payoff of being moved (if he wants) to a contender.


I think you might underrate just how much Sharks fans appreciate the continued Sharks connections within this new regime. I actually do think it will ultimately put more butts in seats, for two reasons. First and foremost, the primary demographic that spends disposable income on pro sports is now made up primarily of Millennials born between 1982 and 1995. We are the most nostalgic generation in history, because most of what we grew up with has been rendered obsolete. This is a known quantity in sales and marketing circles. Watch literally any modern commercial, and see how heavily they lean… Read more »


Here are some good UFA options for the Sharks that this podcast didn’t mention:


Oliver Ekman-Larsson – LD
Matt Roy – RD

Both good two way D-men who can move the puck and run a powerplay but are still defensively sound.


Sam Lafferty – C/RW/LW
Yokov Trenin – C/LW

Both bring physicality and compete. I’d rather add one of them to be 3C and move Sturm to 4C than bring in a new 4C. We should still go all in for Dakota Joshua, but I’d take Lafferty or Trenin over Stenlund.

Fin Coe

Great ep. Didn’t mind the length, it was a lot of the stuff we have to look forward to, and it’s always good to hear from folks who watch the game with a practiced eye. I will say, it sure seemed like there were a lot of Rangers fans hoping the Sharks would take a low first for the last three years of Goodrow’s contract, and I wouldn’t say no to that. I also really share the hope that the Sharks this summer balance out their wild swings on guys who “if they hit, they hit” (I like wild swings,… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Fin Coe

Agree 100%.


Great podcast as usual. I think it will be even more difficult than you guys stated to attract players to san jose next year. Outside of a guy like DeMelo who might have connections in the area and want to return, I don’t think anyone of note will want to come. They probably could sign more bottom of the lineup guys to 4 year deals like sturm/burroughs/benning but I don’t think the team needs more of those. Without a retention slot I think it will be hard to sell an older player on taking a 1 year big money deal.… Read more »


Ok, finally finished this one. Great, great episode. Loved all the ideas. Really hope the get Skjei and Joshua now. I’m also in agreement to not trade Granlund yet. Unless they quire another center I would keep him even if Couture is healthy because the team needs to at least look like it belongs in the NHL. Can’t have another season like last. Finish somewhere 10-16th worst. Time to dump some prospects that have value but aren’t part of Griers vision of the future. If they win Celebrini I’m even open to trading Eklund for a #1 D prospect around… Read more »

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