Free agency eve – news 150630

Sharks acquire goalie Martin Jones for a pick (2016 1st) and prospect (collegian Sean Kuraly); and sign to multi-year deal.  Rivalry intensifies. Sharks makes Dillion re-signing official.  Sharks announce qualifying offers. Lerg re-signed.

SJ Sharks: Sharks Acquire Goaltender Martin Jones from Bruins
SJ Merc | CSN Sharkstake 2 | Spectors Hockey | | NBC/PHT | NHL | AP | CBS | NY Daily News | Gackle | Martin conf call | Wilson conf call
Agent confirms 3 year deal
NBC/PHT | | CBS | Puck Daddy

SJSharks: Sharks Re-Sign Defenseman Brenden Dillon
Official announcement
SJ Merc | Conf call | AP

SJSharks: Sharks Issue Qualifying Offers
SJ Merc | CSN Sharks

Rumor: Former Shark-organization goalie Johan Hedburg hired as new Sharks goalie coach.

Lavoie indicates that UFA Bryan Lerg has been re-signed to one year deal.

Please note, I’ll be traveling until Sunday, so updates may be sporadic or non-existent.  Follow on Twitter for the latest.

Preparing for free agency – 140629 news

So, today, former Shark Antii Niemi signed a three year deal with the Stars, Sharks launch 25th anniversary promos, Konrad Abeltshauser traded to St Louis, and Brendan Dillon signed to five year extension. (While the deadline for Qualifying offers is 6/29, the Sharks don’t plan to release their list until 6/30.)

7 players and builders named as 2015 inductees into the HHOF


SJ Merc

CSN Sharks

Gackle Report

AP: Sharks Still Searching For Starting Goalie Following Draft

AP: Sharks keep Brenden Dillon with 5-year deal

THN: Behind the scenes of NHL free agency: how deals get done

NBC/PHT: Even after flurry of trades, goalie market is far from settled

NBC/PHT: Sharks agree to five-year deal with Brenden Dillon

CBS: NHL free agency: 10 notable UFAs to watch on July 1

USA Today: Top 25 NHL unrestricted free agents in 2015

Teal-tinted free agent frenzy

As of June 29, the Sharks have 3 goalies, 10 defensemen and 20 forwards (plus pending buyout Burish) under NHL contract.  The nominal signed depth for the Sharks organization has been 5-6 goalies, 15-20 defensemen, 30-35 forwards (not counting signed players in the CHL).  So about another 20 signings to go.  (And some of those will be AHL deals rather than NHL.)

There are 6 RFAs, plus 5 UFAs (that could be re-signed), plus 12 other AHL players that could be re-signed.  And two college graduates (that need to be signed by August 15 or they become UFAs).  (Those figures may change as QOs are due 6/29. Some that are listed as RFAs may become UFAs if not qualified.  Or signed.)

And a handful of players not with the organization last year will be acquired (signed as free agent or traded for).

While the Sharks have tendered an offer sheet in the past, I don’t know that there are many players the Sharks would target (unless the RFA’s team is up against the cap).  (And the player has to want to play for your organization to even SIGN the offer sheet.  Some may receive them, but not sign.)

Obviously one top need is a new “#1” goalie.  This player may be signed in free agency (there are at least 26 as of June 29, including former Shark Greiss), but could be acquired by trade.  UFA options, under 30 years of age, include Kari Ramo, Jhonas Enroth, Thomas Greiss, Anders Lindback, Richard Bachman, Brad Thiessan, Jeremy Smith, Aaron Dell (signed by Sharks last year), and Allen York. Ramo, Enroth, Greiss, Lindback all have NHL experience.   Ramo might be an interesting option, if not re-signed by Calgary.

Sharks also need 2-3 more goalies to play in AHL and/or ECHL this season.  (UFA Dell and RFA Anderson could be re-signed.)

And the blue line needs some help.  One question to be answered is whether UFA Irwin is re-signed.  At least two NHL-ready defensemen are needed (Sharks may avail themselves of the UFA market, or try to land Bieksa or other signed player).  And another 3+ defensemen to fill out playing depth.

Up front, another 7-10 players are needed.  (My guess is that the majority would be prospect/depth players, not top end players.) I would expect the Sharks to sign a handful of prospects for development and 2 or so NHL depth (3rd/4th line) type guys, and some journeymen to help mentor in AHL.

Lots of needs.  Lots of options.

Some of the prospects the Sharks might be targeting, could be participating in the development camp, the second week of July.  (If of “draft” age, the Sharks can sign the CHL-bound players and keep them around a few years; but that nominally happens with players invited to “Rookie” camp in September, and not development camp in the summer.)

Let the speculation begin!

Did the Sharks lose the draft?

Per Puck Daddy (Wyshynski and Leahy), the Sharks were one of the losers at the draft:

LOSER: San Jose Sharks

The Sharks were in on Cam Talbot and missed out after he was dealt to Edmonton. They then dealt the negotiating rights to Antti Niemi to Dallas. “As we look at it, there are more goalies than teams,” said GM Doug Wilson. “And there are more people available in discussions than you guys hear about.” So what does he do now? He didn’t rule out bringing Niemi back should he fail to sign with the Stars. But with all the goalies on the move this weekend, San Jose failed to snag one. Maybe Wilson can give Bob Murray a call. He’s got three NHL-level ones in Anaheim now.

Really? The Sharks “lost” the draft? I guess it really comes down to whether their expectations were met at the draft.  (BTW, Boston has a bunch NHL-caliber goalies, too.  Just sayin’.)

(As the Sharks seem to be extremely tight lipped regarding trade discussions I really have to wonder if this isn’t just a sour-grapes strike against the organization that does not telegraph in details all it’s actions to the press hours/days/weeks/months in advance.  Most of the “news” regarding potential movement seems to be coming out of the other side of the conversation, not from team teal.  GM Wilson does not discuss the conversations he has with other general managers.)

I agree that the Sharks did not check off their off season list, which still includes:

And more than two months left to accomplish those items before training camp.

But the main goal for this week was that the Sharks needed most of their draft picks to keep the pipeline stocked.  And they accomplished that (without mortgaging the future:  leaving picks intact, for the most part, in future seasons).

The Sharks were rumored to have kicked the tires on a lot of trade deals.  Bieksa (fell through as the Sharks did not want to give up their 2015 2nd).  Talbot (went to Edmonton).  (And those are just the one that news leaked about.)  The Sharks traded away Niemi (who looks like he’s just about got a deal done with the Stars), and picked up a defensive prospect at the draft.

Although the Sharks GM Wilson knows you have to pay to get, he’s not desperate to get his deals done at the draft.  He indicated that a lot of conversations that started this past week that will continue.

I would declare, as far as the draft went, the Sharks suceeded.  They drafted nine players, adding some needed depth.

First, they picked up two goalie prospects (Robinson, Kupsky).  (And re-signed Grosenick. That’s two signed goalies for the upcoming season.  Need at least four, so there will be more.  There are two RFA goalies that could be re-signed.)

Second, they added three blueline prospects (Roy, Cukste, Parsells).

Third, they drafted four forwards (Meier, Helewka, Balcers, Vela).

However, with any draft, it’s really hard to know how WELL a team does with its picks until five to ten years down the road.

But to declare the Sharks a loser because they don’t have a shiny, new clear cut #1 goalie before the UFA period starts?  Irresponsible, click baiting, FUD.

Let’s see where the Sharks’ roster is after Labor Day before making pronouncements that their season is doomed.

Sharks Draft – day 2 (Roy, Robinson, Helewka, Cukste, Balcers, drafted; McNally acquired, Niemi traded)

Sharks get #86 pick for compensation from Edmonton for McLellan signing

Sharks trade up to pick D Jeremy Roy at 31st.
SJSharks – Quick factsQuick QuizNHL Network interviewMedia interview | HockeyDB | SJ Merc | CSN Sharks | Gackle Report | AP | NHL

Sharks trade Niemi’s rights to Dallas for 193rd pick.
SJSharks | Sportsnet | NHL | NBC/PHT | CBS | ESPN | SJ Merc | CSN Sharks | NHL | Puck Daddy | AP

Dreger indicates that Bob Boughner will be named as assistant coach.
CSN Sharks | Yahoo

Sharks acquire Patrick McNally from Vancouver for #210 pick
Seems likely he’ll be in Barracuda line up this fall, if he signs.

Sharks select G Mike Robinson at 86
SJSharks – Quick factsQuick quizMedia interview | HockeyDB
Committed to UNH

Sharks select L Adam Helewka at 106
SJSharks – Quick facts | HockeyDB | KXLY | Spokane Chiefs

Sharks select D Karlis Cukste at 130
SJSharks – Announcement | HockeyDB

Sharks select L Rudolfs Balcers at 142
SJSharks – Quick facts | HockeyDB

Sharks select D Adam Parsells at 160
SJSharks – Quick factsQuick quizMedia interview | HockeyDB | WSAW | Wausau Daily Herald | WOAW (vid)
Committed to University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sharks select C Marcus Vela at 190
SJSharks – Quick facts | HockeyDB
Committed to University of New Hampshire

Sharks select G John Kupsky at 193
SJSharks – Quick facts | HockeyDB | Daily Gazette | Union College
Incoming freshman to Union College

Post draft wrap ups and more


SJ Merc

CSN Sharks

SF Chronicle: Sharks trade Niemi’s rights, move up to draft defenseman

Gackle Report: Sharks’ GM: ‘We Have Quite A Bit Of Work Still Ahead Of Us’

Puck Daddy/Wysh: San Jose Sharks GM targets ‘mystery goalies’ for trade

AP: Sharks still searching for starting goalie following draft

NBC/PHT: Stars say Niemi was top target, but still have faith in ‘elite’ Lehtonen

NHL: Notes from 2015 NHL Draft weekend

Concord Monitor: Future UNH players Vela, Robinson drafted by Sharks


Sharks Draft – day 1 (Timo Meyer)

Rumors earlier in the day that the Sharks would acquire Bieksa from Vancouver, but later word is the trade is dead.  (And may be total fabrication by parties rumor mongers.)

With the 9th pick, the Sharks selected Timo Meier from the QMJHL Halifax Mooseheads. He’s a friend and countryman of both Mirco Mueller and Noah Rod.

Video: Draft pick/analysis | Media interview | Wilson recap of day 1 | Meir quick quiz

News links:

SJSharks: Pick announcement | Quick facts

SJ Merc: Sharks select winger Timo Meier with ninth overall pick in draft

CSN Sharks: Sharks take winger Timo Meier in 2015 NHL Draft | Sharks rookie Meier already has friends in organization

Gackle Report: Timo Meier’s Power Game Should Compliment Sharks’ Skill At Forward

Hockey’s Future: San Jose Sharks add more Swiss to the mix with Timo Meier

Reuters: First Round recap

CBC/Halifax: Timo Meier, Halifax Mooseheads forward, drafted by the San Jose Sharks


Chronicle Herald

USA Today: NHL draft 2015: First-round picks, scouting reports
“San Jose Sharks – RW Timo Meier. His game is built on power and skill. Skates with a very wide, strong base and is impossible to knock off the puck. Physically he already looks like a man – has a thick, sturdy build and plays a heavy game. Takes the puck hard to net and has a heavy, accurate wrist shot. This season his offensive game has really taken off – he added more power and precision to his shot and made huge strides in his playmaking. Started seeing the ice better and using his linemates much more often to diversify his game. Vastly improved hockey sense. Showing more puck poise and vision. He is not fleet of foot, but he’s a bulldozer whose straight line speed allows him to get where he needs to go and is pretty solid laterally. Hard on his stick and his strength allows him maintain possession and cycle very effectively down low.”

USA Today: The winners, losers and strange moments from Day 1 of the NHL draft


  • First round pick-by-pick summary
    “The versatile Meier (6-foot-1, 209 pounds) is strong with or without the puck. His 44 goals and 23 power-play goals led the Mooseheads in the regular season. He ranked in the top 10 in goals (10) and points (21) in 14 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. Meier also has experience skating with top players; with Switzerland at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, his linemate was Nashville Predators forward Kevin Fiala, in Halifax his linemate was Winnipeg Jets top prospect Nikolaj Ehlers, and at the 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game he played on a line with Connor McDavid.”
  • Notes from first round

Other news from draftland:

Report: Grosenick resigned – two year deal
CSN Sharks

DeBoer promises captain before start of season
CSN Sharks

Report: Karlsson resigned – two year deal
CSN Sharks  | NBC/PHT

Sharks add 3rd round pick
CSN Sharks
Compensation for McLellan signing; they have two picks (79, 86) – guessing it’ll be the latter.

Sharks Draft Party

I attended the Sharks draft party Friday evening.  Found a nice, relatively quiet corner and was able to watch (and sometimes listen) to the draft and activities.

Events were MC’d by Rusanowsky and Hahn.  Sharkie wandered around a few times.

Sharks alums Evgeni Nabokov, Dave Maley and Mike Ricci stopped by, talked about their draft experience (and signed some autographs).

Barracuda head coach Sommer and radio guy Lindquist were interviewed.  Sommer indicated the Barracuda have signed some players (which have not yet been announced).  Later, Lindquist indicated to me that he is in the process of finding a radio home for the Barracuda locally.

(I did win Bingo on one card handed out, but missed out onany raffle prices.)

Sharks 2015-16 Schedule, notes

Sharks announced the 2015-16 schedule.  Downloadable and printable versions here (including direct addition to variety of e-calendars).

Some notes on the schedule:

  • Number of travel legs (to city 1 to … and home): 58
  • Average travel leg distance: 905.6 miles
  • Total (air) miles traveled: ~52522
  • Average time between games: 54.8 hours
  • Minimum time between games: 22 hours
  • Maximum time between games: 167.5 hours (All Star Break)
  • On the Forecheck with their annual “super schedule” has the Shark traveling the most miles of any team.

Notes from the Sharks:

Home Games By Day:
Mon. – 4, Tue. – 6, Wed. – 3, Thu. – 9, Fri. – 1, Sat. – 16, Sun. – 2.
Road Games By Day:
Mon. – 4, Tue. – 12, Wed. – 3, Thu. – 7, Fri. – 5,Sat. – 6, Sun. – 4.
Home Games By Month:
Oct. – 4, Nov. – 6, Dec. – 5, Jan. – 9, Feb. – 4, March – 11, April – 2
Road Games By Month:
Oct. – 6, Nov. – 7, Dec. – 8, Jan. – 3, Feb. – 10, March – 5, April – 2
Back-To-Back Games:
Back-to-back overall: 13
Back-to-back at home: 2
Back-to-back on road: 9
Road game followed by next day home game: 1
Home game followed by next day road game: 1
Six games from Mar. 19-28. Dates and opponents during this homestand are Mar. 19 vs. New York Rangers, Mar. 20 vs. Arizona, Mar. 22 vs. St. Louis, Mar. 24 vs. Edmonton, Mar. 26 vs. Dallas, and Mar. 28 vs. Los Angeles.
LONGEST ROAD TRIP: Six games from Nov. 13-22. Dates and opponents during this road trip are Nov. 13 at Detroit, Nov. 14 at Buffalo, Nov. 17 at Boston, Nov. 19 at Philadelphia, Nov. 21 at Pittsburgh, and Nov. 22 at Columbus.

Full schedule below.  And for completeness: preseason schedule

Wed 7 @ Los Angeles 7:30 p.m.
SAT 10 ANAHEIM 7:30 p.m.
Tue 13 @ Washington 4:00 p.m.
Fri 16 @ New Jersey 4:00 p.m.
Sat 17 @ NY Islanders 4:30 p.m.
Mon 19 @ NY Rangers 4:00 p.m.
THU 22 LOS ANGELES 7:30 p.m.
SAT 24 CAROLINA 7:30 p.m.
WED 28 NASHVILLE 7:30 p.m.
Sat 31 @ Dallas 12:00 p.m.
Sun 1 @ Colorado 12:00 p.m.
TUE 3 COLUMBUS 7:30 p.m.
THU 5 FLORIDA 7:30 p.m.
SAT 7 ANAHEIM 7:30 p.m.
TUE 10 NY ISLANDERS 7:30 p.m.
Fri 13 @ Detroit 4:30 p.m.
Sat 14 @ Buffalo 4:00 p.m.
Tue 17 @ Boston 4:00 p.m.
Thu 19 @ Philadelphia 4:00 p.m.
Sat 21 @ Pittsburgh 4:00 p.m.
Sun 22 @ Columbus 2:00 p.m.
WED 25 CHICAGO 7:30 p.m.
SAT 28 CALGARY 7:00 p.m.
TUE 1 PITTSBURGH 7:30 p.m.
Fri 4 @ Anaheim 7:00 p.m.
SAT 5 TAMPA BAY 7:30 p.m.
Tue 8 @ Calgary 6:00 p.m.
Wed 9 @ Edmonton 6:30 p.m.
SAT 12 MINNESOTA 7:30 p.m.
Tue 15 @ Montreal 4:30 p.m.
Thu 17 @ Toronto 4:30 p.m.
Fri 18 @ Ottawa 4:30 p.m.
Sun 20 @ Chicago 4:00 p.m.
Tue 22 @ Los Angeles 7:30 p.m.
MON 28 COLORADO 7:30 p.m.
Dates and Times subject to change
SAT 2 WINNIPEG 7:00 p.m.
THU 7 DETROIT 7:30 p.m.
SAT 9 TORONTO 4:00 p.m.
Mon 11 @ Calgary 6:00 p.m.
Tue 12 @ Winnipeg 5:00 p.m.
THU 14 EDMONTON 7:30 p.m.
SAT 16 DALLAS 7:30 p.m.
MON 18 OTTAWA 7:00 p.m.
Thu 21 @ Arizona 6:00 p.m.
SAT 23 MINNESOTA 1:00 p.m.
SUN 24 LOS ANGELES 7:00 p.m.
TUE 26 COLORADO 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 28-31 NHL All-Star Break @ Nashville, TN
Tue 2 @ Anaheim 7:00 p.m.
Thu 4 @ St. Louis 5:00 p.m.
Sat 6 @ Nashville 5:00 p.m.
Tue 9 @ Chicago 5:30 p.m.
THU 11 CALGARY 7:30 p.m.
SAT 13 ARIZONA 7:30 p.m.
Tue 16 @ Tampa Bay 4:30 p.m.
Thu 18 @ Florida 4:30 p.m.
Fri 19 @ Carolina 4:00 p.m.
Mon 22 @ St. Louis 5:00 p.m.
Wed 24 @ Colorado 7:00 p.m.
FRI 26 BUFFALO 7:30 p.m.
Sun 28 @ Vancouver 4:00 p.m.
MON 29 MONTREAL 7:30 p.m.
Thu 3 @ Vancouver 7:00 p.m.
SAT 5 VANCOUVER 7:00 p.m.
Mon 7 @ Calgary 6:00 p.m.
Tue 8 @ Edmonton 6:00 p.m.
THU 10 NEW JERSEY 7:30 p.m.
SAT 12 WASHINGTON 7:30 p.m.
TUE 15 BOSTON 7:30 p.m.
Thu 17 @ Arizona 6:00 p.m.
SAT 19 NY RANGERS 1:00 p.m.
SUN 20 ARIZONA 7:00 p.m.
TUE 22 ST. LOUIS 7:30 p.m.
THU 24 EDMONTON 7:30 p.m.
SAT 26 DALLAS 1:00 p.m.
MON 28 LOS ANGELES 7:00 p.m.
Tue 29 @ Vancouver 7:00 p.m.
THU 31 VANCOUVER 7:30 p.m.
Sat 2 @ Nashville 5:00 p.m.
Tue 5 @ Minnesota 5:00 p.m.
THU 7 WINNIPEG 7:30 p.m.
SAT 9 ARIZONA 7:30 p.m.