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SOURCE: Sharks May Not Qualify RFA Dahlen

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Credit: AP Photo/Tony Avelar

MONTREAL – Are Jonathan Dahlen’s days with the San Jose Sharks numbered?

A source has told San Jose Hockey Now that there’s a good chance that the Sharks will not issue a qualifying offer to the pending RFA. This would make the 24-year-old winger a UFA.

This isn’t final, though. San Jose has until 5 PM ET, Jul. 11 to qualify Dahlen and other RFAs like Mario Ferraro, Kaapo Kahkonen, Luke Kunin, Nicolas Meloche, and more.

At first glance, this doesn’t make much sense. Dahlen made the veteran’s minimum, and a qualifying offer would be just a five percent raise on that. But the winger has arbitration rights and could take the San Jose Sharks to arbitration – and the arbitrator’s award could be higher than what the Sharks would want to pay him.

It’s certainly hard to value Dahlen, as it was a tale of two seasons for him. The rookie got off to a torrid start, entering the Calder Trophy conversation with seven goals in his first 15 NHL games. But over the rest of the season, which was interrupted by multiple stints in COVID protocol, a concussion, two other upper-body injuries, and a few healthy scratches, the winger had just five goals and eight assists in his last 46 appearances.

Whatever the Sharks do with Dahlen, the picture that seems to be emerging is that the organization doesn’t necessarily believe in the young winger’s future as a top-six NHL forward. Unlike say fellow RFA Ferraro, it’s SJHN’s understanding that the Sharks have not, at any point this season or off-season, started extension talks with Dahlen. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Sharks don’t want him around, but it does tell you that they don’t view the winger as a franchise cornerstone.

What could make sense for the Sharks is to qualify Dahlen and try to trade his rights to another NHL team. If they don’t end up qualifying him at all, you can guess that’s because other teams weren’t interested in the young winger and his arbitration rights. I can say, according to a non-San Jose team source, that there are NHL teams that rate RFA John Leonard with no arbitration rights higher than RFA Dahlen with arbitration rights. Leonard was just sent to the Nashville Predators with a 2023 third-round pick for Luke Kunin. All this is to say: Don’t assume that Dahlen has a lot of trade value around the league.

Another sensible alternative, if the San Jose Sharks did have hope in Dahlen, would be to sign the winger to a one-year contract at $1.125 million dollars or less, evaluate him in training camp, and bury his contract in the AHL if he doesn’t make the team out of camp. $1.125 million dollars is the maximum cap hit that you can bury in the minors in 2022-23.

We’ll see what new Sharks GM Mike Grier thinks of Dahlen soon enough.

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Whiskerz

Not sure I’d understand letting him walk, sharks need all the goals they can get. Having a 3rd line of Dahlen-Bordeleau-Kunin would certainly be fun and produce offense.

amon_amarth

I don’t know what the fancy stats say for his first year, but he did deal with a lot of setbacks, I really hope they give him a longer look to see if he can reach his potential. Including putting him in a position to succeed, he is not a fourth line grinder, we all saw how long it took Gregor to get his footing. If we just traded for Kunin and put him (on the depth chart) ahead of Dahlen with Kunin’s 13 goals and poor underlying numbers I’m going to be very confused. But we will have to… Read more »

Ken

Overall I was disappointed in Dahlen last season. If he isn’t going to be a scorer what does he contribute? Gregor at least brings speed. With Grier apparently looking for size, grit, speed, and in your face toughness Dahlen may be moving on. Seems a-shame as Sharks spent a lot of time and money in development just to let him walk. Based on the Covid, injuries, and the prior coach who lost confidence in him a second chance may be warranted. Perhaps having adjusted to the smaller ice and grueling schedule will help him contribute. Who else do they have… Read more »

Yetis

I think its a sign the organization’s depth and prospect pool has risen to the level that tough calls on decent players like Dahlen have to be made. I want to see Eklund and Bordeleau over Dahlen and with the top line set and Cooch and Bonino on the second line where are the open roster spots? We just don’t have have room if Eklund and Bords make the team, which i expect. Or take Dahlen over Balcers and Gregor? No way!

DJ

Would have to be the world’s dumbest arbitrator to give Dahlen an award greater than a contract that can be buried. Nothing on paper (where this stuff gets settled with objective metrics) shows a guy that’s worth more than that. If he put up 40+ points then maybe, but he couldn’t even crack the 30 points per 82 threshold this year. There’s no way that he can be a true arbitration risk at that level of production.

Alaskan_ice

Keep him. He did start on fire. If he can regain that, we certainly can benefit from it. Either to our success or to move him.

david barnard

so trade his rights along with a 5th round pick to move Simek to OTT or somewhere.

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