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SJHN Daily: Gawanke To Leave Barracuda for Germany



Credit: San Jose Barracuda

Leon Gawanke is going home.

According to Elliotte Friedman, the San Jose Sharks are terminating the contract of Gawanke. Per the Mercury News, the German defenseman intends to return to DEL’s Adler Mannheim.

This is a devastating blow to the San Jose Barracuda, as Gawanke leads all Barracuda defensemen with eight goals and 27 points in just 38 games.

Acquired in the summer from the Winnipeg Jets for prospect Artemi Kniazev, there was hope that Gawanke could take command of the power play for the San Jose Sharks. But after a so-so training camp, Gawanke found himself back in the AHL.

Gawanke has 43 goals and 141 points in 245 games in parts of five seasons in the AHL with the Barracuda and the Manitoba Moose. The 24-year-old has never played an NHL game.

Ironically, both he and Kniazev will return home this season. After a slow start with the Moose, Kniazev was loaned to his old KHL side Ak Bars Kazan in December.


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The Gawanke story feels strange to me. A player who has finally gotten to the point he might get an NHL look. And suddenly, its back to Germany

Alex Genadinik



He wanted out of Winnipeg because they didn’t give him a shot at the NHL level. San Jose trades for him, then adds three right shot defensemen on NHL contracts to the roster, giving him no shot to make the team out of camp. When it’s time for a call-up, they tap Mukhamadullin instead of Gawanke. His decision to leave for Germany is about the least surprising thing I can imagine. Shocked it took him this long, honestly.

Alex Genadinik

It seems that this kind of adds to the narrative that players don’t want to play for the Baracuda.

Also, Sheng, on CapFriendly, it says Gawanke’s salary is around 800k – there is no way they pay anywhere close to that in the German league, right?


AHL players don’t get their full NHL salary unless they are on a one-way contract. Also per Capfriendly he was making $350K which is good for the AHL by my understanding, but he does have to pay dual taxes (German and US) as well as potentially keeping a two residences, cars, etc. It may still be a better deal to live / work at home.

Alex Genadinik

This is not exactly the transaction-related news I was looking for 🙂 Does anyone feel like there is too much wait and see and the trade buildup is a bit slow?


Not really, no. The deadline is still several weeks away. This is how it always goes. A few pieces move in advance and set the market, then the rest of the dominoes fall over a 48 hour period leading up to the deadline.

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