San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson took part in a conference call with reporters on Thursday and made several important announcements.
First, neither Dan Boyle nor Martin Havlat will be back with the team next season. Both are aging veterans past their primes, and take up a chunk of salary could be used to address other areas.
Boyle, who will be 38 by the start of next season, spent six seasons with the Sharks and established himself as one of the best defensemen to ever don a Sharks’ uniform. However, he regressed this season, putting 36 points, his lowest in a full season as a Shark.
“I can’t say enough about the type of guy he is, the player, everything he brought to the table for us,” Wilson said about Boyle.
It’s likely that he didn’t offer the same compliments toward Havlat, who, for all intents and purposes, was a bust with the Sharks. Acquired for Dany Heatley in a blockbuster trade, Havlat had three disappointing seasons with the Sharks, riddled by injuries in all of them. He played in just 48 games this season and never really fit in with this club.
Wilson also said that defenseman-turned-forward Brent Burns will be moving back to defense next season. Burns made the switch to forward in the middle of the 2012-2013 season, and it paid dividends. He finished with career highs in goals (22) and points (48) this season. However, defense is his natural position, and the Sharks will be short at least one D-man with Boyle gone.
No further announcements were released, but Wilson did say that “no option was off the table” in terms of roster changes. The Sharks are coming off one of their worst playoff defeats in franchise history, and the consensus is that changes must be made.