Grier announces Hoffman, Barabanov, Labanc will leave Sharks in free agency

Apr 4, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov (84) extends
Apr 4, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov (84) extends / Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

It's a sad day in Sharks land. Locker cleanout day sees the players come into the SAP Center for the final time to grab their equipment and belongings before the facilities close for the summer. Whether you want the Sharks to lose and tank for Celebrini or win and try to be competitive, the team in teal is done for the season. We will have no professional hockey in the Bay Area until September, when the preseason starts again.

With the cleanouts, we get news about the players who will represent their nations at the world championships, who will be moving on to greener pastures, and who may be joining in the future from the prospect pool. This summer will be no different for the Sharks as they look to improve ahead of next season when the team hopes brighter days await after this awful year.


Recently, general manager Mike Grier held a press conference, discussed the organization's future, and gave us all a new set of expectations. Mike Hoffman, Alexander Barabanov, and Kevin Labanc will all be testing the free agent market as they do not have a future with the San Jose Sharks organization. While this is not surprising as all three played are on the older side of their careers while the Sharks are looking to go in a younger direction, it's still unfortunate to see their time in teal end in this manner.

This means the Sharks will have to find replacements going into the summer, preferably younger players, so they can mature with the Sharks and grow into more prominent roles. With the Sharks knowing that this organization's brightest days are still in the distant future, there's no hiding the fact that many older players will have to be moved on in the next 18 months or so.