With Doug Wilson going on and on about significant roster changes, it leads some people to wonder which players are untouchable, and which players could be on their way out of San Jose.
To decide which players should be untouchables, we will go over what players make up the Sharks core. To do that, I will make a full starting lineup of players that should not even be considered to leave San Jose:
Forwards: Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture
Joe Thornton may be getting up there in age, but please, fellow analysts, show me where his production has slipped. Thornton is still a premier playmaker in this league, and if he keeps playing this way he has about six or seven years left. Not so bad if you ask me.
Joe Pavelski is one of the players in the NHL that you could just put in any scenario at any position and he would succeed. He wins faceoffs like it’s nobodies business, and he can play wing as he did a majority of the year with Thornton and Burns. He can score goals, kill penalties, and quarterback a power play. It would be so hard to replace a player that is as versatile as Pavelski. A lot of teams would love to have a player like him on their team, and the Sharks have two of them.
Logan Couture is basically the same type of player as Pavelski. He can play anywhere and in any situation. The only difference between Logan and Joe is that Logan LOVES to block shots. He’s actually always wanted to play goalie, so he has no problem laying down his body to block a shot.
Defense: Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun
Could you imagine if these two were paired together?
Imagine a world where the Sharks have no weak spots defensively, and they can afford to put their best two defenseman together. You’ve got Marc-Edouard Vlasic, a left-handed shot who is a stone wall defensively, always in the right position, and constantly makes smart plays on odd-man rushes, and that feeds it up to Justin Braun, the right-handed defenseman who can set up offensive chances, and rack up some points. Not to mention that Braun is also a stud defensively and Vlasic is also a great offensive defenseman.
The Sharks definitely need some defenseman, but it’s nice that they have these two players that can make any defensive pair great. But could you imagine if they were together? Brilliance would ensue.
Sidenote: It wasn’t the reason the Sharks lost, but when Vlasic went out for the rest of the series which I think we all assume was a concussion, it definitely didn’t help their odds.
Goalie: Alex Stalock
Was I the only one who was impressed with Alex Stalock last year?
I certainly hope not. I really liked what I saw from the rookie netminder in his first year in the league. Even in Game 6 against the Kings, I can’t recall a single goal to fault him on. First was a cross-crease pass, which an NHL defenseman should never allow, the second will be debated for years to come, and the third and fourth was when the defense completely broke down.
Now, I’m not saying it was Antti Niemi’s fault either. In fact, I think Niemi had a pretty solid year for his standards. But when you need some extra help on your roster, and Niemi has a high cap hit while Stalock is ready to go, I don’t see why they shouldn’t trade Niemi to clear up some cap, and help out the team defensively. I fully believe Stalock is the future goalie of the Sharks.
Now, these are the players that SHOULD be untouchable. But from what we’ve heard Doug Wilson say, there is no guarantee that any of these players will still be here.
Alright, I think it’s pretty certain that Braun and Vlasic will be, but for the other four, there isn’t.
I believe that they all will, but who knows?
All we can do at this point is wait and speculate.