San Jose Sharks
The Cost of Buying Out Martin Jones | SJHN+
The San Jose Sharks are moving on from Martin Jones, right?
“Our goaltending has to be better,” GM Doug Wilson said in his recent exit interview.
Exit Interview: Doug Wilson Plans to Add 3C, Address Goaltending | SJHN+
Jones has an .896 Save % over the last three seasons, tied with Jonathan Quick for worst among all NHL goaltenders (75+ games). Safe to say, that needs to be better, and after three straight seasons of sub-.900 save percentages, better probably isn’t coming from Jones.
So au revoir, Martin?
If only it were that simple – Jones also has three years left on his contract, $5.75 million per. Nobody is trading for the full freight there unless you attach significant premiums – a couple sources recently suggested two first-round picks at minimum. Even trading part of Jones’s contract – San Jose can retain up to 50% of the cap hit – would cost the Sharks plenty.
That leaves, of course, the buyout.
This off-season, the NHL’s buyout window opens 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final, so we’re looking at early to mid-July. The buyout will extract a heavy price from San Jose too, as two-thirds of Jones’s remaining salary is essentially divvied up over six seasons.
Per Puckpedia, here’s the buyout cap hit breakdown for Jones:
|Martin Jones, Buy-out||Cap Hit||Cap Savings|
That’s not pretty. So is there a scenario where it might make sense…to keep Jones?
For this thought exercise, let’s assume that with or without Jones, the San Jose Sharks will bring in a new starting-caliber netminder. Next, we’ll run through various potential cap hit scenarios, with or without Jones.
The 27-year-old UFA has put up some gaudy back-up numbers (.925 Save %) over the last two seasons. Bad news for Driedger, it was a tough market for free agents last off-season, and it figures to be more of the same this time around.
Here are some UFA comps for Driedger – successful back-up, unproven starter, insignificant playoff resume, expected to come in and be at least a 1B – from last off-season:
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