Apr 9, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; San Jose Sharks center Bryan Lerg (42) is seen out on the ice during the pre game warm-up as they get set to play against the Edmonton Oilers before the first period at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
General manager Doug Wilson was a busy man last Thursday as he signed five players to new contracts with the San Jose Sharks organization. The Sharks re-signed forwards Michael Haley and Bryan Lerg, while brining back forward John McCarthy. Also, San Jose signed defensemen Mark Cundari and Patrick McNally.
Lerg served as captain of the Worcester Sharks last season, amassing 13 goals and 28 assists in 68 games last season. However, the biggest moment of Lerg’s hockey career came on April 9, 2015 for the 29-year-old. Lerg, making his NHL debut against the Edmonton Oilers, scored his first-ever NHL goal, the game-winner, in a 3-1 victory for the Sharks.
Haley, also 29, scored a team-leading 18 goals to go along with 13 assists in 68 games with W0rcester. In 437 career AHL games, Haley has registered 145 points and more than 1,000 penalty minutes (1,046). He’s made 56 appearances at the NHL level with two goals and one assist in his career.
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McCarthy, 28, returns to the Sharks organization where he’s played in 87 career games for San Jose. McCarthy has registered three goals and three assists, but isn’t a flashy player by any means. He was originally a seventh-round draft pick of the Sharks back in 2006 but has made the biggest impact at the American Hockey League (AHL) level. In 302 career AHL games, he has posted 159 points (68 goals and 91 assists).
Cundari, 25, was with the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate, Adirondack, last season and led all defensemen in points, goals and assists last season. Cundari scored 29 points, seven goals and 22 assists, and has made eight career NHL appearances with the Flames.
Finally, Wilson signed McNally who was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks for a seventh-round selection during the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. McNally, 23, played in 82 collegiate games over the course of four years with Harvard, amassing 14 goals and 46 assists. He scored six goals and 15 assists, and was a plus-16 in 21 games this past season.
Here’s what Wilson had to say in the release about signing McNally:
"“Patrick is a player we have had our eye on for some time now. He has been a very productive collegiate defenseman and Head Coach Ted Donato and the Harvard staff have done a tremendous job preparing him to take the next step. We’re excited for him to continue his development with our organization.”"
McNally was the only player to receive a two-year contract while the rest are one-year deals with the organization. The expectation is all will likely play in San Jose next season, just not with the Sharks. These five players should be playing with San Jose’s new development affiliate, the Barracuda, and should provide some depth for the Sharks in emergency situations.
While none are likely to be impact performers next season, San Jose will need professional-level players in the organization.