Draft prep, upcoming awards, HHOF inductees and TWTW

A week later, and things aren’t too much different.

Transactions summary and the week that was

Sharks have re-signed Al Stalock and Mike Brown, pending UFAs.  It’s also been expressed that pending RFA James Sheppard will be back.

For Worcester, there’s an underlying chill with news coming out the the AHL is looking to allow the western NHL teams to relocate their AHL affiliations nearer to them on the west coast, perhaps as soon as next fall (for 2015-16 season), which would mean the upcoming season could be the last for the Worcester Sharks. It was announced that Jimmy Boneau has signed a new AHL deal, head coach Roy Sommer will return for another season, but assistant coach David Cunniff will be heading elsewhere for his future.

(See Transactions for further details.)

Sharks TV Analyst Drew Remenda won’t be returning next season.

Sharks released their seven game preseason schedule, including a (home) game in Stockton and three at SAP Center.

On the horizon:

On Sunday (6/22 1pm PT), the NHL will release the full season schedule. (Already released: the home openers of each team.  Sharks will travel to LA to watch the Kings hoist their second Stanley Cup banner on 10/8. Sharks open their home schedule 10/11 hosting the Winnipeg Jets.)

Monday and Tuesday, the Hockey Hall of Fame committee meets to vote on up to four players to enter the Hall, plus builders, etc.  Owen Nolan and Mike Ricci are two possible former Sharks that might get that honor.

On Tuesday 6/24, the NHL will host their annual awards in Las Vegas.  There are a couple of Sharks among the finalists for awards, but no real stand out “sure fire” winners. (I thought PHWA SJ chapter Masterton nominee Al Stalock had a chance, but he’s not even a finalist.)

Then on Friday, starts the NHL draft, in Philadelphia.  Round one will be held Friday evening; rounds 2-7 on Saturday. Sharks have seven picks (first, two seconds, third, fifth and two sixths).  (But with the “rebuild-on” mode mood-setting from Doug Wilson, there may be a few veteran players departing the team, who don’t want to stick around for the rebuild, that might add to the number of picks the Sharks have.)  Sharks are hosting their first ever draft party at Stanley’s Bar at Sharks Ice in San Jose for the first round.

And on July 9, the Sharks will trot out their prospects in a 7pm scrimmage at SAP Center.  The two coaches will be Mike Ricci and Bryan Marchment. (Tickets go on sale 6/24 via Ticketmaster; proceeds to benefit Sharks Foundation.)

Waning Passion

An inauspicious time to start a blog.

I watched (in the background) the final game of the NHL season last night. Without passion or enthusiasm.

I only wanted the Kings to win so the disappointing 2014 post-season would come to an end.

Now things can start to happen.  That may wax the passion again.

The Sharks GM Doug Wilson has announced there will be significant changes to the roster for the upcoming season.  But what will that entail?  Only two moves for certain have been announced;  Dan Boyle and Martin Havlat will not be with the team next year.

There has been speculation that the captaincy might be changed, with Couture, Pavelski and Vlasic getting to wear the letters as the team’s leaders, passing the torch of leadership to the next generation.

48 hours after the Cup has been awarded, the buyout window opens.  This begins the last period that teams can use their 2013-CBA compliance buyouts.

I’ll expect Martin Havlat to be put on waivers by tomorrow (in preparation for buyout), unless GM Doug Wilson has had some nibbles on the trade front. (UPDATE: As he has a no trade clause, he does not have to be put on waivers before being bought out.)

And Dan Boyle has already been moved (for a conditional 2015 pick from the New York Islanders).

As for other changes?

Pending RFA Sebastian Stalberg has signed to play in his home country of Sweden next season. Pending RFA Harri Sateri has signed to play in KHL next season. (Sharks can still retain their rights until age 27 if they make each a Qualifying Offer by the deadline.) Neither has played for the NHL Sharks, although Sateri has dressed as a back up.

Sharks have apparently been discussing new deals with pending UFAs Alex Stalock and Mike Brown.

There are rumors involving Marleau, Niemi and Thornton leaving the team.  But with a handful of “young, rising stars” who would not be moved, many other players currently under contract may find themselves elsewhere before the puck drops in the fall.