San Jose Sharks: John Tavares And Sharks Almost Impossible

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 28: {L-R} Henrik Lundqvist
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 28: {L-R} Henrik Lundqvist /

It’s a nice thought that the San Jose Sharks could legitimately look at John Tavares in the off-season, but is it plausible?

Paul Gackle floated the idea (read it, it’s a great read) of bringing John Tavares to the San Jose Sharks via free agency if he doesn’t re-sign with the New York Islanders.

I’ve always enjoyed Paul’s work in print and voice, and I get it. Everyone wants John Tavares, and why wouldn’t you? This type of player isn’t going to be one you regret a few years into a long-term deal. The problem is money. If you take that ~$23M in cap space and tuck $10M away for Tavares, what happens next?

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Gackle’s theory includes Joe Thornton, which is likely going to cost another $8M for one year. Now we’re at $18M of the $23M gone and we haven’t looked at Chris Tierney or Tomas Hertl. Those two just finished your cap space.

Oh, the San Jose Sharks also have to replace Joel Ward with a functioning forward and sign a backup goaltender immediately.

Fast forward another year and Timo Meier will be looking for a nice chunk of change – even if it’s a bridge deal. That same signing period features Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi.

I could tinker with CapFriendly’s armchair GM tool all day, but it wouldn’t matter. I still wouldn’t get the numbers to work without major changes and low-balling UFA/RFA players.

Making It Happen

A few things need to happen to get Tavares to come to San Jose – assuming the superstar would actually be interested – and not hamstring the clubs ability to get depth.

  • Walk away from Joe Thornton after 2017-2018.
  • Rid the team of the awful Mikkel Boedker contract.
  • Plan to get Timo Meier on a bridge deal as soon as his contract is up.
  • Be prepared to potentially walk away from Couture or Pavelski after 2018-2019.

Is Doug Wilson prepared to walk away from two of 19/39/8 in the next two seasons?

Next: How The Sharks Are Keeping Pace With Last Year

I know, the cap will go up. Yes, the San Jose Sharks have a seemingly large amount of cap space coming up. However, while large in appearance, the cap space disappears quickly when you start handing out deals to everyone.

If you’ve got an idea on how to make it work, and re-sign key components, I’m all ears.