April 16, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) leads his team out of the locker room betore game three of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals against the St. Louis Blues at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Thoughts on Danny Groulx

In case you missed it, it was reported on Sharks.NHL.com on July 2nd that the team had acquired yet another D-man from the KHL named Danny Groulx. Groulx is a record setting, high scoring, solid D-man…or at least he was, once upon a time in the QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) – keep in mind he hasn’t played in the QMJHL since 2002. Since then he has been a solid piece in the AHL structure, including a season with the Worcester Sharks (09-10 season) before heading to Russia for two seasons. Doug Wilson seems to believe that the 31 year old defenceman will bring some more depth to the organization overall, but as in most cases, I think its safe  to say some fans will remain a bit skeptical of him until they see him on the ice.

With D-men being a hot commodity in the NHL market it comes as no surprise that the Sharks would want to acquire one who is already familiar with how they do business, but it also seems a bit risky to pull someone back who played a combined 24 games in the 2011-2012 KHL season (keep in mind though that regular season KHL is only 52 games to begin with). According to Sharks.NHL.com, as per club policy the financial terms of Groulx’s one year contract were not disclosed, however; a quick look at CapGeek.com shows Groulx’s contract being  175k at the AHL level (75k more than his first time with Worcester) and 525k at the NHL level with the ultimate cap hit being 525k, ultimately a small risk to take when you think about how many millions of dollars worth of contracts are signed annually.

Worst case scenario we get some senior leadership in the Worcester dressing room and come out with a stronger farm team. 175k seems like a small price to pay for the guidance and contributions of a player like Groulx. Do I see him being the next big name in the Sharks Defensive line-up? No, not at all. But I do see him as being useful in other ways to this team, both on the AHL and NHL club levels.


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