When you are a rebuilding team, a lot of players tend to be unhappy. Players stuck in the AHL that do not sniff the show on a rebuilding team often seek termination of their deals to try and make more money over in Europe. That seems to be the case for the San Jose Sharks with Leon Gawanke who was placed on unconditional waivers by team teal. It's likely that Gawanke will go over to Germany and look for a team.
Gawanke is a native of Berlin, Germany, and formally approached the San Jose Barracuda with a desire to return to his native land. San Jose were happy to oblige and let him head back over the Atlantic Ocean and head home. He will likely end up signing in the DEL at some point after his contract is terminated, if he clears waivers at 11 a.m. tomorrow. It's always sad to see players leave the organization, but is this a large loss for the Sharks?
Well, the 24 year old defenseman had been enjoying quite the productive season with the Barracuda. In 38 games with the junior team in San Jose, Gawanke put up eight goals and 19 assists for 27 points in 38 games. It'll be a shame to see someone with that offensive output leave the AHL roster, and likely end their chances of creating an NHL career for the player. His rights will expire when he turns 27, so it's not too long, but it's not fun.
San Jose wanted to do right by the player and had no hesitation letting him go home when he was showing signs of being homesick. Hopefully, he can get home and get back to feeling confident and comfortable in his hockey playing ability. It'll be interesting to see what happens after Gawanke heads back to Berlin, and to see what the organization do to replace him in the AHL.