Could team teal’s solution for a backup goaltender be someone who’s manned the crease in San Jose before?
The San Jose Sharks have done a great job of preparing their roster for the 2016-17 season. However, there is still one void on the roster. If Sharks fans want to avoid the wild adventures of Alex Stalock, they should search for a backup goalie.
We have already covered this topic with many candidates such as Reto Berra, Michael Hutchinson, and even a former Shark in Thomas Greiss. I like the Greiss idea because a former Shark coming back to San Jose to win the Stanley Cup would make for a good story. That is why the ultimate trade for a backup goalie should include another former Shark, Antti Niemi.
This acquisition would follow with two recent trends that Doug Wilson loves. With Wilson’s love of acquiring former Stanley Cup champions, Niemi would fit right in and could help with the Sharks’ aspiration to model the Pittsburgh Penguins. Also, Niemi would create a similar situation the Sharks had last year with James Reimer and Martin Jones.
Niemi would fill the role that Reimer created by being the overpriced backup that allows Jones to have ample rest for the playoff run. This is almost like the decision to switch to teal jerseys in the playoffs before the season even started. Having rested goalies is clearly the reason why the Sharks were Western Conference champions last year so why not try it again?
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There is one obvious problem to acquiring a goalie like Niemi though. As a goalie with a cap hit of $4.5 million, the Sharks won’t have the cap space to acquire Niemi when the season starts. But with every obstacle there is a loophole.
With the Penguins over the cap by $2.5 million, they are an example the Sharks can go over the cap as long as they return to the limit before the season starts. Therefore, the Sharks wouldn’t have to send salary the other way.
Think of this trade as a salary dump for the Dallas Stars as this move would finalize the decision of which goalie to protect for the expansion draft next year. Also, if Niemi’s return to San Jose doesn’t work out, they could always expose for that same expansion draft.
Since this would be a salary dump for the Stars, a trade between the two teams would have to involve a sweetener. Since salary is out of the equation, this would include a prospect swap of some sort.
Once the Sharks inevitably trade Tommy Wingels and Brenden Dillon for cap space, you can basically say the Sharks traded the pair for a top prospect! All while receiving an upgrade in the crease. How can this possibly not work out?
The clear answer to the Sharks search of a backup goalie has been right in front of us this whole time. The Sharks just have to make the move.