Kevin Labanc’s Time With the San Jose Sharks Comes to an End

Apr 13, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Kevin Labanc (62) during
Apr 13, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Kevin Labanc (62) during / David Gonzales-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Labanc will find a new place to play this summer after San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier announced that he would let the New York native test the open market. It was an underwhelming season from the once 50-point scorer as he struggled to get in the lineup consistently. Labanc has stated that he wanted to be a San Jose Sharks his entire career, but things don't always turn out the way you want them to. 

In terms of production, Labanc had just two goals and seven assists in his 46 games this year. Injuries played a part in that, but he seemed to be outside the admiration of David Quinn throughout the season, and he didn't get into the number of games he wanted to bolster the production to a level that might see him safely find another home at the NHL level. Now, his situation is precarious.

While Labanc may find a place to land that will want him for his offensive upside, the flipside is that he has not been as good defensively as the Sharks wanted. San Jose wanted the Banker to slot into the bottom six and help provide some stability. Chipping in with a few points would have been nice, but that never was the case as younger players passed Labanc on the depth chart. 


It wasn't entirely his own doing, as Labanc dealt with injuries all season, but it wasn't a good look to see players like Jack Studnicka and Thomas Bordeleau have more favor with David Quinn than Labanc did at the end of the season. It meant that when the season concluded, we all knew the outcome would be Labanc moving on in the summer. Whether that is somewhere else in North America or potentially going across the Atlantic to Europe to pursue his hockey dream, time will tell. 

It is sad to see Labanc leave San Jose. The Sharks drafted him almost ten years ago. The Bay has been his home for a decade, and because of a bad season, he will be looking for greener pastures. Hopefully, Labanc will land on his feet somewhere and continue with his dream of being an NHL player, but being a spare piece on the worst team in the NHL doesn't bolster the case for remaining in the league.