In advance of free agency, what might the Sharks be looking to fill on the forward ranks?
The Sharks/Barracuda nominally have about 30 forwards under contract: 14 NHL, 14 AHL, and 2-4 in ECHL.
With three forward positions possible, lots of flexibility if a player can play multiple positions. The Sharks’ strategy has to been to acquire the best player available, with lots of hockey sense, resulting in a plethora of centers (who end up playing wing and/or swap in/out of center and taking faceoffs).
21 – Currently signed through 6/30/17 (with position, years remaining, trade restrictions):
- C Joe Pavelski (3 years, NTC)
- C Joe Thornton (1 year, NMC)
- F Joonas Donskoi (1 year)
- C Logan Couture (3 years, NTC)
- R Joel Ward (2 years, NTC)
- C Chris Tierney (1 year)
- C Patrick Marleau (1 year, NMC)
- C Tommy Wingels (1 year)
- C Melker Karlsson (1 year)
- R Nikolay Goldobin (2 years)
- R Barclay Goodrow (1 year)
- C Nikita Jevpalovs (2 years)
- C Rourke Chartier (3 years)
- R Jonathon Martin (3 years)
- R Alex Schoenborn (3 years)
- R Marcus Sorensen (1 year)
- L Adam Helewka (3 years)
- R Kevin Labanc (3 years)
- R Timo Meier (3 years)
- C Daniel O’Regan (2 years)
- L Alex Gallant (AHL, 1 year)
8 Pending UFAs
- C Michael Haley
- L Bryan Lerg (signed to play in Sweden)
- L John McCarthy
- L Frazer McLaren
- C Nick Spaling
- L Danius Zubrus
- F Scott Timmins (AHL)
- R Trevor Parks (AHL)
7 Pending RFAs (with arbitration rights indicated) — UPDATED with QOs
- C Ryan Carpenter *
R Chris Crane * R Petter Emmanuelson (signed to play in Sweden)
- C Tomas Hertl
C Jeremy Langlois * W Jeremy Morin *
- W Matt Nieto
11 Unsigned prospects:
- C Colin Blackwell (college grad – needs to be signed by 8/15 or becomes UFA)
- C Jacob Jackson (3 years college)
- L Emil Galimov (defected)
- R Noah Rod
- C Maxim Letunov (3 years college)
- L Rudolfs Balcers
- C Marcus Vela
- C Dylan Gambrel (3 years college)
- C Noah Gregor
- C Manuel Wiederer
- W Joachim Blichfield
So, the Sharks have about 9 additional forwards that need to be (re-)signed. I think the Sharks will re-sign five of the 7 RFAs (all but Crane and Emmanuelsson, and maybe not Morin). Of the 8 UFAs, I can see Haley and McCarthy (for AHL veteran leadership), plus Timmins and Parkes, re-signed. Which maybe leaves 1-2 UFAs to be signed.
I can see Thornton and Marleau extended this summer (the latter for less than the former).
For the expansion draft, teams may protect up to 7 forwards. Teams must expose at least two forwards who played 40 games in 16-17 or 70 games 15-16 through 16-17, signed through 17-18. Players with (non-expiring) NMCs must be protected.
Expansion draft exempt forwards include:
Crane, Donskoi, Doremus, Emmanuelson, Gallant, Goldobin, Jevpalovs, Chartier, Helewka, Labanc, J Martin, Meier, Schoenborn, Balcers, Vela, Gambrel, Gregor, Wiederer, Blichfield
I’m thinking the protected players will be: Pavelski, Thornton, Marleau, Couture, Hertl (re-signed), Ward, Tierney.
This would leave exposed Wingels, Karlsson, Nieto (re-signed) and others. Some players would require an extension to meet the NHL requirement of signed through 2017-18.
Lots of things to consider this summer as the organization prepares for 2016-17 season and the 2017 expansion draft.