San Jose Sharks: Off-Season Update and Latest on Rick Nash

With the dust settling after perhaps the biggest day in NHL free agency thus far (Ryan Suter and Zach Parise signing with the Minnesota Wild), teams can now settle down, re-strategize, and add some other free agents.

The San Jose Sharks are one of those teams; so far, they have lost Torrey Mitchell to the Wild, and UFA Daniel Winnik will not be re-signed. Dominic Moore, Brad Winchester, Benn Ferriero, Jim Vandermeer, and Colin White are their other free agents, and as of now, none of them have been offered a contract.

Their only additions so far have been defenseman Brad Stuart, fourth liner Adam Burish, and a few  minor league players.

So, assuming that all of their UFAs not be re-signed, here is a look at how the Sharks’ stand with their line combinations and defense pairings right now:

1st line: Logan Couture, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski

2nd line: Ryane Clowe, Patrick Marleau, Martin Havlat

3rd line: T.J. Galiardi, Michal Handzus, Tommy Wingels

4th line: James Sheppard, Andrew Desjardins, Adam Burish

D1: Marc-Eduoard Vlasic, Dan Boyle

D2: Brent Burns, Brad Stuart

D3: Jason Demers, Justin Braun

Healthy Scratch: D Douglas Murray

What’s Next?

There are a number of routes that the Sharks could go at this point, but there is clear that most Sharks fans are interested in just one of them:

Trade Patrick Marleau, Acquire Rick Nash

The Sharks have made it no secret that they want to acquire the disgruntled Columbus superstar Rick Nash. Bringing in Nash would add a proven playmaker and goal scorer to their top-line. Plus, the Thornton-Nash combo would just be absolutely filthy to watch.

Now, what about Patrick Marleau, you may ask? The Sharks, who are just $8 million under the salary cap, may be trying to trade Marleau in order to clear room for Nash, according to a source:

This makes sense; the Toronto Maple Leafs have a lot of cap room (about $14 million, to be exact), so the Sharks could trade Marleau and his $6.9 million salary to Toronto for a few players, prospects, and draft picks.

That would give the Sharks plenty of cap space to work with, so GM Doug Wilson would feel at ease to include any player in the deal, regardless of his salary. In other words, the salaries of the players going to Columbus would not have to “match-up” with Nash’s salary, so no players would have to be traded because of their expiring contracts.

How they would get Nash is still the biggest question. Columbus GM Scott Howson has insisted on Logan Couture being a “deal-starter”, but Wilson has refused to entertain that trade.

But what’s intriguing is that the Sharks already have an offer on the table for Nash, according to the Columbus Dispatch. No word on what the offer is, but I’m guessing that anybody not named Couture or Thornton is fair game at this point. The Dispatch also noted that the deal could be “sweetened”, implying that the Sharks are more than willing to give up quality pieces to acquire Nash.

Regardless of how they get him, Rick Nash would be a much-needed boost to this team. Adding him would signify that the Sharks think that they are still contenders, and not quite ready to go into “rebuilding” mode just yet.

 

Eric He

Eric He

Eric is a freelance sports writer in the Bay Area. In addition to covering the Sharks for The Hockey Writers, he also contributes to the FanSided Network, Bay Area Sports Guy, The Hockey Writers, and Prep2Prep. He has previously written for Bleacher Report as an NHL and NBA featured columnist, and his work has been published in the San Jose Mercury News.
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18 Comments

  1. Time to start working on an extension for Vlasic as well. Most sites have him as a UFA next summer (with 7 seasons), but DW told CSN Bay Area he’s a RFA next summer. Figure it out, Doug.

  2. It wont doug wilson already said he will NOT trade patty since its disrespectful to ask a player to waive his NMC/NTC

  3. It wont doug wilson already said he will NOT trade patty since its disrespectful to ask a player to waive his NMC/NTC

  4. Im not sure the “most sharks fans” you talk about are truly wise to what this would mean to the organization. as a true sharks fan, you cannot disregard the symbol of Marleau in the franchise. trading him to make cap room for Nash is ridiculous, when you could easily get rid of Clowe, Demers, and/or Murray or others to make the same room. I think a cap trade for Marleau is disrespectful and hope it does not happen.

    • Personally, I think that it’s time for Marleau to go. Yes, he is the Sharks’ franchise leader in games played and points, but he has been very inconsistent in past years. Just ask him where he was in the playoffs against the Blues?
      He is a symbol of the franchise, but what does that mean if the Sharks have failed to win a Cup during his regime?
      Rick Nash is clearly an upgrade to Patrick Marleau – I think most Sharks fans would agree with me on that. If you can some good players in return, why not trade him to clear some cap space?

      • Inconsistent is the absolute wrong word. He has numerously performed in many playoff series. Too say he underperformed against the Blues is to sigle out one player. Most of the team under performed. Besides an “upgrade” as you say would mean proven performance. Both Marleau and Nash have identical regular season stats AND Nash does not have any Playoff experience. I am all for bringing Rick Nash, but not at the expense of a trade to make cap space…because there are other ways to make cap space. Like I said Clowe is not worth his contract and could easily help with the space. And I agree with the putting Boyle in a package with Clowe and maybe Demers for youth. But you do not trade a consistent goal scorer. If you say he is inconsistent you arent watching the game right. The stats are there. Everyone is SJ wants the cup, but the entire team is at fault for not getting it done.

        • Are you really going to sit there and tell me that Patrick Marleau is a better player than Rick Nash?
          Just because Marleau is a consistent 30+ goal scorer does not make him a consistent player. There were stretches where he just didn’t show up in the stat sheet for several games in a row. And don’t even get me started about his defensive inconsistency – when’s the last time you saw him block a shot or hit someone into the boards?

        • Not better. The same caliber. Not at all saying one is better than the other. The argument is to trade him just for cap space. And hitting isnt his game. We have others for that. It is a team effort. That is like when people say Joe Thornton is losing his game because he is now a 3-zone player and his stats suffer. He is still Thornton. Marleau isnt a power forward. Nash is, I absolutely know how good Nash is. I am drooling for Nash in teal. But, yes scoring 30+ goals a season makes Marleau consistent. You need goals to win. I want Rick Nash as much as you do, if you made the straight up trade to Columbus, ok. But, trading for simple cap space I disagree with. But it isnt my call.

        • Sorry – I can’t agree that Nash and Marleau have identical regular season stats. Nash has been in the league for 9 years and has 7 30+goal seasons (including one season where he scored 31 in only 54 games), and two years he scored 40+ on a team where he’s never had a legit center.
          IMO, Marleau is not a 35-40 goal scorer without Joe Thornton… heck, he wasn’t even a 30G guy before Joe. Before Thornton got here, his high was 28 goals twice… in his 6th and 7th years in the league. Yes, I understand that he was in the “Sutter Doghouse” for many of those early years and he didn’t have the amount of ice time Nash did, but he did have the benefit of playing with a much better surrounding cast than Nash (Damphousse, Nolan, etc). Nash scored 40+ with David Vborny, Andrew Cassels, Geoff Sanderson, and an aging Fredrik Modin & Sergei Fedorov (who never posted more than 43 points in a season as a Jacket).
          Since Thornton’s arrival, and I do understand they haven’t always been paired together, Marleau has 6 30+ goal seasons including 1 40+G season. He also has a season with 19G/48P and a season with 30G/64P.
          Now, I could defend the argument that Nash isn’t worth $7.8M a year… but I’d rather have Nash at $7.8M than Marleau at $6.9M.

        • Ok, I can agree with that. I can change identical to similar. But, 30+ repeatedly is a consistent game. And Nash’s stats are why I want him in teal, so badly. But, my whole argument was to state IMO Marleau traded for cap space is silly. Clowe and Boyle, like you mentioned, could make the same cap space. But, now we are at a point where Howson is just getting ridiculous with this demands.

        • disqus_9Wme9WjqS0 says:

          Howson is a greedy sob

        • In my ideal world, Boyle is moved for pieces that CBJ wants, and then those pieces are moved to CBJ for Nash. I absolutely understand Nash’s value, but I don’t want the deal to happen if either Pavelski or Couture is involved. I’d also hate to lose Clowe, but they take a deal with Clowe, Demers, and something that we get for Boyle, I’m good with that, especially since Clowe is a UFA next summer (which, btw, is the same reason CBJ will not want Clowe as a part of the deal.. they want young and under team control for years, not a 1-year rental).

        • I can get down with that. I was not down with the rumors of Pavs and Clowe package to CBJ. Nor that Howson kept asking for Couture. Their mental game is so awesome, along with other superlatives. That is why Howson asked for Couture from us, Skinner from CAR, Kreider from NYR and Schenn and Couturier from PHI.

        • That… and the fact that he’s trying to save his job by “righting” years of ineptitude in one trade!

      • disqus_9Wme9WjqS0 says:

        F(_)CK you Marleau is the best Shark!

    • Personally, I think that it’s time for Marleau to go. Yes, he is the Sharks’ franchise leader in games played and points, but he has been very inconsistent in past years. Just ask him where he was in the playoffs against the Blues?
      He is a symbol of the franchise, but what does that mean if the Sharks have failed to win a Cup during his regime?
      Rick Nash is clearly an upgrade to Patrick Marleau – I think most Sharks fans would agree with me on that. If you can some good players in return, why not trade him to clear some cap space?

    • “Most Sharks fans” need to stop thinking with their heart, then. This group hasn’t gotten it done, and it’s time to refresh the team. I will be surprised if both Marleau and Boyle are Sharks in October. It’s easier to move Boyle because he doesn’t have a full no-move clause anymore, and with the lack of options on the market after Suter (heck, look at the paydays that Carle and Garrison got), I think the Sharks could get a nice return on an aging Boyle.
      Heck, forget Nash and aim higher… try to build a package for Shea Weber with Boyle+ going to Nashville in return.

      • Yeah I’ve been saying the same thing for a while. Boyle is getting old, overpaid, and has a few more years left on his deal. Anything they could get for him before he starts declining would be appreciated. Plus, they didn’t trade for Brent Burns just to ride Boyle’s coatails. Burns could be one of the best D-men in the league in a few years, and at that point, they just won’t need Boyle and his salary.

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