San Jose Sharks need more from Kevin Labanc who is open to being traded

Jan 16, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Kevin Labanc (62) scored past
Jan 16, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Kevin Labanc (62) scored past / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Labanc has struggled this season. I don't think this will come as shocking news to anyone. Spending a lot of time as a healthy scratch, he's fallen out of favor with David Quinn and the Sharks coaching staff. As a pending unrestricted free agent, however, his name is going to appear in the rumor mill as the trade deadline approaches. It's been a tough season for the Long Island native.

Making $4.75 million against the cap until the end of the season, Labanc has had to contemplate the idea of being traded. While he's had difficulty trying to stay in the lineup, he's been used sparingly when he's been in the team. He's not been able to earn a place higher up the roster when he has been included. Whether that is because of his poor production or practice, it's not a good look for someone that makes as much as the Bancer does.

He's started to open up to the idea of moving away from the team that drafted him in the 2014 NHL entry draft, and the 28 year old is starting to understand that you cannot always spend the entirity of your career with one club. It's very possible that whether it be before the deadline or in the summer, Labanc is moved on from by this organization. There's no reason to bring him back at this moment in time, and if he doesn't improve, it's unlikely he will find a new home elsewhere in the league.

In 37 games this season, Labanc has just two goals and five assists for seven points. It's been a difficult season for the entire Sharks offense, but this is exceptionally low for someone that has played more than half the games available to him so far this season. If he wants to try to win a Stanley Cup with a new team, he's going to have to find a way to pick up the production and get himself onto the radar of the cup chasing teams.