San Jose Sharks Smart To Bring In Dainius Zubrus


The San Jose Sharks have battled plenty of injuries in the early going of the 2015-16 season. With that in mind, it appears head coach Peter DeBoer is turning to a familiar face to hopefully add some depth up front until the Sharks can return to full health.

As was reported over the weekend by Damien Cox, Dainius Zubrus, who played for DeBoer with the New Jersey Devils, is joining the Sharks on a professional tryout. The 37-year-old Zubrus has been searching for a home after playing in 74 games with the Devils last season.

The six-foot-five, 225-pound Zubrus definitely lacks the foot speed to contribute consistently at the NHL level, but he is a smart addition if he is indeed brought on by the Sharks. San Jose is very thin up front and it’s pretty evident that 2014 first-round pick Nikolay Goldobin hasn’t earned the trust of DeBoer at this point in time.

This is part of the reason why bringing someone like Zubrus in might not be the worst thing for San Jose. Goldobin could use more time and development in the American Hockey League with the San Jose Barracuda, but the Sharks need him and his scoring potential with Ben Smith and Logan Couture both out with injuries.

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With Zubrus potentially entering the fold, this will allow San Jose to send Goldobin back to the AHL and bring in a seasoned veteran who could help in a limited role. Make no mistake, Zubrus won’t be coming in and lighting the world on fire as he only had four goals and six assists last year. However, and as DeBoer mentioned (via Curtis Pashelka), Zubrus is a big body who could eat up some valuable minutes with the Sharks.

Also of importance, Zubrus has plenty of familiarity with DeBoer so it won’t take him much time to adjust to the style of play he seeks. The Sharks have taken a hit down the middle, and Zubrus could plug in and fill a role within the bottom-six forwards, but don’t expect him to drive the possession game. Last year, Zubrus registered a Corsi For percentage of just 46.2 percent.

Again, keep his role limited and defined, and Zubrus could help San Jose as they await the return of other pieces. Otherwise, this signing makes little sense as Zubrus doesn’t appear to have much left in the tank.

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As San Jose continues on their longest road trip of the season, it will be interesting to watch if Zubrus does indeed fit in with the Sharks or if DeBoer and the organization are willing to roll along with their younger players in the lineup.