The third and most likely outcome is buying out Martin Jones in the near future.
As of October 8th, the Sharks missed their window of opportunity to buy out his contract ahead of this season. They doubled down on this decision by letting go of back-up goalie Aaron Dell.
While this is not a popular take, you could make a solid argument that Dell actually outplayed Jones this season. Both posted an unimpressive 3.00 GAA, but Dell actually was notably better in terms of save percentage. Dell recorded a 0.907 SV%, while Jones fell just short with a 0.897 SV%. This is a particularly bad look considering that since joining the Maple Leafs, the ex-Shark will likely be the third option.
Barring an epic bounce back this upcoming season, San Jose could look to get rid of Jones’ contract with no return. Not only would it free up a significant amount of cap space next off-season, but it would officially mark the end of an era.
Should Dubnyk outplay Jones this season, it is almost guaranteed that he will be bought out next August. Especially given that the new pick up is on an expiring contract and can be brought back at a much cheaper cost than it would be to keep Jonesy.