San Jose Sharks Had Productive Offseason


Mar 29, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) shoots the puck as Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Paul Martin (7) and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) defend the net during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks and general manager Doug Wilson had a busy, but productive offseason by most accounts. It was much needed as the Sharks stumbled down the stretch, finishing fifth in the Pacific Division and missing the postseason for the first time in 11 seasons.

However, instead of standing pat as he did last offseason, Wilson was aggressive in filling in some of the holes in his lineup. Antti Niemi, who had been the starter for the past five seasons but had one of the worst seasons of his career, was traded to the Dallas Stars.

Replacing the dependable Niemi is 25-year-old Martin Jones, who has appeared in just 34 NHL games but he oozes with potential. Wilson was proactive in acquiring Jones from the Boston Bruins sending San Jose’s 2016 first-round pick to Beantown.

On the back end, Scott Hannan and Matt Irwin were not retained as they were part of a unit that ranked 24th in goals against per game. In their places, Wilson targeted free agent defenseman Paul Martin, signing him to a four-year, $19.4M contract. The steady and reliable Martin will likely slot alongside Brent Burns and should provide the Sharks a formidable one-two punch with Martin and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

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Finally, up front, Wilson replaced the liability of John Scott with the strong veteran presence of Joel Ward. Ward will be able to provide leadership and more punch up front as he recorded three goals and six assists in 14 playoff games with the Washington Capitals last year.

So, just how impactful could those three moves be for San Jose come October when the puck drops on the 2015-16 season? Well according to Dominik Luszczyszyn of The Hockey News, the Sharks were one of the big winners of the offseason, adding 3.30 wins.

Also of note, those 3.30 wins the Sharks added only ended up costing San Jose a little more than $5M when you factor the salary brought in minus the salary that was sent out.

Wilson was methodical in going about his business of adding pieces to the Sharks roster and he has them back in contention for a playoff spot in what should be a competitive Pacific Division. Now, it’ll be up to new head coach Peter DeBoer to get the results on the ice.

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