Not everybody is panning the San Jose Sharks’ moves this off-season.
Yes, the Sharks lost No. 1 defenseman Brent Burns, but you have to keep in mind, the 37-year-old wanted to leave to chase a Stanley Cup.
In his stead, GM Mike Grier acquired Steven Lorentz, Eetu Makiniemi, and a 2023 third-round pick. It’s not an overwhelming package for a franchise icon, especially considering that San Jose retained 34 percent of his contract, but I can’t underline it enough times, Burns wanted to go. The San Jose Sharks were not negotiating from a position of strength.
Next, Grier signed UFAs Oskar Lindblom, Nico Sturm, Markus Nutivaara, and Matt Benning.
It’s not a Johnny Gaudreau – it may not even be a Barclay Goodrow – but the Sharks have added five solid NHL players and an intriguing goalie prospect.
“I like what the GM has done. He’s filled those bottom-six, bottom-pairing roles, and he’s filled them with NHL players at a good cost. The guys you had before couldn’t play or were just okay,” an NHL scout from an outside organization said. “Those guys that he’s added, those are legitimate guys that can play, and it helps your team. Your stars can play now, and your other guys can hold down the fort. I didn’t think you had enough of those guys to hold the fort down before, while your stars were trying to recover.”
As I’ve said before, I’m not saying the San Jose Sharks are better as a whole – Burns played 27 minutes a night, and that void wasn’t filled during the first week of free agency. But that’s not to discredit Lorentz and Lindblom and company.
Here’s what three scouts – and a guest GM – think of Lindblom, Sturm, Nutivaara, Benning, Lorentz, and Makinieimi.
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