5 Potential Trade Targets for San Jose

Roller Coaster Year

The Sharks completed their first Western Canada sweep in franchise history.  (Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)

The San Jose Sharks have had a roller coaster first half of the 2014-15 season. During an arduous road heavy start to the season they went just 10-10-4 in their first 24 games which included 16 of the first 21 on the road. In hindsight perhaps a .500 mark wasn’t so bad but losses to inferior teams like Buffalo, Columbus, Arizona, Calgary, and Florida were extremely disappointing efforts. The Sharks turned it around in December going 9-1 over a ten game stretch before losing four out of the next five. Now all of a sudden the Sharks have won the last two in a row. For the first time all year, the Sharks swept a back-to-back, beating Winnipeg and Minnesota on the road on back-to-back nights. Overall, a 12-4-1 record in their past 17 games would make one think the Sharks would be buyers come the trade deadline. It is hard to tell where GM Doug Wilson’s head is at with frequent posturing but my hunch says the Sharks will look to make a move to push them over the top. If that is the case, here are five options that could round out the Sharks lineup.

Charlie Coyle (C, RW) Minnesota

(Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports)
(Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports)

The only non unrestricted free agent on this list is Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle. While the right-handed shooting forward is still only 22, he has struggled to live up to the expectations so far. He was Minnesota’s crown jewel in the trade that sent Brent Burns to San Jose. With just 23 goals in 145 NHL games over three seasons, his shooting percentage has declined from year one to year two, and from year two to year three. With only three goals in 38 games this season, he doesn’t exactly solve the Sharks’ scoring woes but perhaps it is a matter of luck turning around. Coyle’s Fenwick-for percentage is 53.4, sixth best amongst Wild forwards and just .3 behind defenseman teammate Ryan Suter. Drafting Coyle 28th overall in 2010, the Sharks know Coyle’s abilities quite well even if he never played for them at the NHL level. The Wild and Sharks have connected on a number of deals in the past and there is an opportunity to work together again. Minnesota needs an established goaltender, and Antti Niemi is a pending unrestricted free agent that would fit their current need. Now because of the differing contracts, it may take more on San Jose’s side to complete a deal, but boils down to the fact Coyle can help San Jose and Niemi can help Minnesota.

Drew Stafford (RW) Buffalo

Buffalo Sabre Drew Stafford - Photo by Andy Martin Jr
Buffalo Sabre Drew Stafford – Photo by Andy Martin Jr

The Buffalo Sabres ought to be looking to move as many of their pending unrestricted free agents as possible. Stafford is in the last year of his deal and can still score goals despite many criticisms from Buffalo fans. The 29-year-old scored 13 even strength goals in 2013-14 for a bad Sabres team. Last year Brent Burns was considered one of the best even strength goal scorers with 20 last season. Playing with Joe Thornton, Stafford could easily bump that 13 number close to if not equal to Burns’ 20 number if he were a Shark for 82 games. The question in this case is what can the Sabres do in the market to bump up Stafford’s price? He is a much more dynamic player than say Paul Gaustad who fetched a first round pick in return a couple years ago, so will it take a first round pick and more for Stafford? Or will the Sabres have to settle for less? Buffalo certainly wouldn’t want to set their price too high and have teams fill their deadline needs elsewhere but they will want to get what they feel is fair value.

Cody Franson (D) Toronto

Cody Franson
Cody Franson’s play has certainly improved over last season (Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE)

The biggest fish on this list is none other than Maple Leafs UFA defenseman Cody Franson. According to THW’s James Tanner, Franson has expressed interest in re-signing with the Leafs. However, we all know the mess the Leafs are in having fired their coach, having issues with one-way forwards and an overall bad possession team. Franson can certainly be apart of their rebuild but he isn’t 21 anymore either, he will be 28 next season. Signing him to a big contract only to continue struggling the next two or three years? Is that the wisest decision for Toronto? Maybe, maybe not. As for what it would take to get him, well considering he is arguably the top defenseman on the Leafs roster, a first round pick and a top prospect. Doug Wilson has made a point of not moving young players and picks for prospects but a first round pick and top defense prospect Mirco Mueller in exchange for Franson could help both teams tremendously. Certainly many Sharks fans will bemoan this idea as mortgaging future for the now but a move of this caliber would give the Sharks their best chance at a Stanley Cup in their history. Acquiring Franson would potentially allow Brent Burns to move back up to forward where he is a much bigger difference maker.

San Jose could then matchup toe-to-toe with the best of the best by rolling out a lineup of

Tomas Hertl—Joe Thornton—Brent Burns

Patrick Marleau—Logan Couture—Matt Nieto

James Sheppard—Joe Pavelski—Tommy Wingels

Barclay Goodrow—Andrew Desjardins—Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic—Cody Franson

Brenden Dillon—Justin Braun

Matt Irwin—Matt Tennyson

You would be hard pressed to find a better top three lines and top four defense in the league. Only Chicago comes to mind as a team with a case for a stronger group.

Jeff Petry (D) Edmonton

Is Jeff Petry on the block? (Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)
Is Jeff Petry on the block? (Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)

A cheaper option for defense help would be Edmonton Oilers pending UFA Jeff Petry. It is difficult to judge the 27-year-old Petry on standard or advanced numbers playing with the Oilers his whole career but he is an above average puck mover. He should come significantly cheaper than Franson but there simply aren’t too many rental puck movers available, so again it depends how much the Oilers are looking for and how much Wilson is willing to offer up. The Oilers are terrible again this year and should be looking to deal as many pending free agents as they can but the cost is yet to be determined. While Petry doesn’t bring the same imposing size of a Cody Franson, he is still a solid top-four option. Acquiring him would again potentially allow Burns to move up front to help improve the Sharks’ current scoring woes.

Andrej Sekera (D) Carolina

(Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

Just like Toronto and Edmonton, the Carolina Hurricanes aren’t going to making a push to win the Stanley Cup any time soon. However, unlike Franson and Petry, 28-year-old Andrej Sekera isn’t a right-handed shot. The Sharks already have Vlasic and Dillon on the left side and Mueller up and coming. If Sekera can fit in on a second pair with Dillon than perhaps Burns could still be moved up. The Sharks love to match their pairs with one left handed shot and one right handed shot and so acquiring Sekera wouldn’t be the ideal fit. Now if the Sharks want to keep Burns at defense and acquire Sekera, he could be a third pair puck mover but that wouldn’t do much to help the Sharks scoring woes. The biggest question mark for San Jose is whether they can score enough goals. Stafford, Coyle, Franson, and Petry would all be more of a direct increase in puck possession/goal scoring.

Other options that could make sense for San Jose are either Jaromir Jagr or Michael Ryder of the New Jersey Devils, and Jiri Tlusty of the Carolina Hurricanes to add some depth at the forward position. With Burns’ ability to play multiple positions, the Sharks have options to fill their scoring hole up front by trading for a defenseman and move Burns up or keep Burns at defense and acquire a winger.

49 thoughts on “5 Potential Trade Targets for San Jose”

  1. Did this nutjob just propose making a trade without trading any current Sharks players. Wow…the lack of knowledge this guy has is astounding, he’s like Pierre McGuire but without a basis lack of understanding of the game of hockey.

    • Good players Ian White in 2011 and Dom Moore in 2012 were acquired for nothing but a 2nd round draft choice each.

      • You think two players (a bottom six forward at the time and a 3/4 dman) that contributed almost nothing offensively should be compared to Charlie Coyle or Cody Franson?

        aka Charlie Coyle = Dominic Moore.
        aka Cody Franson = Ian White?
        Bravo…bravo sir. You win the award for not watching hockey outside San Jose.

        • First off, never said White was Franson level, but White in 2011 very comparable to Petry of today. Also Mueller and a first in this draft would be terrific return for the Leafs. Campbell in 2008 took Bernier and a first. Similar packages, although yes Bernier was established but also declining. Mueller is a highly rated prospect.

  2. Extremely stupid article when the author neglects to mention what each player would cost.

    Cody Franson (due to make 5+ mil)- Cost will be a top six forward, a prospect and a pick
    Coyle (due to make 5+ mil)- top six forward, prospect and a high pick
    Stafford- Top four Dman and a prospect
    Sekera- Cost top six forward and a pick
    Petry- Cost top six forward and a prospect

    So Andrew Bensch I hope the Sharks are ready to trade the following (Tommy Wingels, Matt Nieto, Barclay Goodrow, Antti Niemi, James Sheppard or Andrew Desjardins) Because San Jose is not going to aquire any of those players with an injured player (Kennedy, Brown, Torres) or useless players like Scott or Burish. And draft picks are something that Wilson is hanging on to right now. Face the reality of the situation genius.

    • Right, you’re the expert who suggests a pending UFA like Petry would cost Tommy Wingels and by prospect i can only assume you mean top prospect. Petry is not that good that he would fetch Wingels and Mueller.

      • If you think the Oilers would give away one their biggest trade-able assets on defense for nothing then you don’t understand how NHL market value works. A top 4 Dman is worth more than a top 6 forward regardless of the team they play for. It’s why Brenden Dillon (top 4 on the Stars) cost so much more than Demers (5-6) despite similar age and abilities.

  3. After whatever that was tonight, the team needs a wake up call. Bench Niemi and let Stalock start four or five straight, see who the real #1 goalie on the team is now. McLellan needs to start benching guys who are just floating out there and give more ice time who are hustling. And maybe that big trade I mentioned earlier?

    • only one of the goals do i fault niemi, the last one was a bad rebound but it baffles me why this org doesnt start stalock say 7-8 out of 10 games to see how he handles the load. They already know what Niemi can do, hes a pending UFA, they need to see what Stalock can do over a larger sample of games.

  4. There is no way they move Pavelski down to the third line, in favor of giving a guy like Nieto bigger minutes. And In reference to your opinion that the Sharks would have the second best top 3 lines in the league, I think you’re forgetting the Blues, Kings, Lightning and arguably a fully healthy Bruins team as well. And to say they’d be in the top 10 when it comes to the top 4 D…you’re clearly looking at things through a teal and black (or silver/white, whatever the Sharks secondary color is) lens. Even with Franson, that group doesn’t hold a candle to more than a few teams in the league. Sorry, have to call it how it is.

    I hold no bias for the teams I mentioned either. I’m a Rangers fan (who coincidentally has always liked the Sharks because they have one of the best sweaters in the league).

    • Pavelski at 3C would barely decrease his overall ice time when you consider third line doesnt have to play less at EVS then the 1st or 2nd and Pavelski will remain on the top power play no matter what. I’ll take the Sharks with Paveski, Couture, Thornton on separate lines up with any team in hockey.

  5. To be honest, I don’t always agree with your arguments (like pavelski to 3rd line center), but I appreciate you writing a lot about the sharks!!!


    • thanks for reading and commenting! Why don’t you like Pavelski at center? Their po record with him there is 15-11, and just 5-10 at wing. Pretty drastic how many good stretches they’ve had with him at center.

  6. I know he’s not a UFA next year, but has anyone considered Yandle? The Coyotes are terrible this year, and have O.E.L. as a younger option for the future.

    Also for all the haters, anyone who reads as many articles as I do know Burns is a terrible in his own zone. Near the bottom in the league at shot suppression, and he fails the ‘eye test’ of playing responsibly.

    Move him to F and keep him on the point in the PP. Problem solved.

    • I find it really quite shocking how many people are defending Burns at defense, after the 2013 lockout season ended NOBODY was arguing he belonged back on the blue-line at even strength.

    • As for yandle, i think he would be even more expensive than Franson, and within the division, i dont see the Sharks wanting to give up that much. Petry would be within the division but cheaper

    • It just goes to show how little the team is concerned about play in their own zone. It’s been that way for years, they just don’t have the personnel to disguise it anymore.

  7. You are really reaching on this one. I get that you need filler stories but come on man…We both know that this is not the direction that Doug would go..Can you write with positive spins? or just stop writing about the Sharks already..clearly something you can’t or don’t like to do..it shows

    • Im finding a lot of people don’t seem to understand the differences between power play and EVS and how individuals scoring rates differ with pp time and success. Yes i agree with you forward at EVS, D on the pp.

  8. Sharks have needed D since Thornton arrived. They passed on Pronger and what happened?…Ducks went on and won a cup. They passed on Hammer and what happened?…Sharks landed a whale while Hammer remained on his team to win Cup #2 and who knows how many more. Sharks need about 4 Top D.

  9. My only issue with this article is there is no salary information to bring it into the reality of the cap. I’m not blaming you, Andrew, I just miss CapGeek =(

      • Found it! 5.5mil in cap space so that puts them in a better spot than I initially thought. Also an interesting note, Sharks have the 3rd lowest cap payroll on the blue line (New Jersey and Dallas round out the bottom). I guess we’ll see how committed DW is to the youth movement as we approach the trade deadline.

    • and we all miss capgeek lol, there are some other sites that show salaries though, don’t recall off top of my head tho

  10. You still ignore the obviously flawed logic I pointed out on your diatribes about the contribution of Burns to the offense of the team from the blue line versus wing. Not only do you continue to run blind…but you make these absurd proposals? Come on….if you have a public forum on the game you need to step it up.

    • remind me again of this supposed flawed logic? I guess it was pretty flawed logic when they moved him up to forward for a year and a half and it worked wonderfully to the tune of a strong 2013 playoff run and 6th in scoring last year.

    • Buff at D, Burns at F, but no couture, i could see it working potentially, Nieto-Marleau-Wingels looked good in short sample. 48-19-88, 83-12-57, 13/15-8-81/68, 13/15/89-10-68/89, 44-buff, 61-4

  11. Big Buff is everything the Sharks need. A tough, solid defender, tough to get off the puck, not afraid to jump in to the play and get to the dirty areas like screening the goalie on the power play. I don’t know what Winnipeg would want to make it happen, but there aren’t a lot of guys on the Sharks roster I’d be willing to part with to get Buff in teal and white.

    • lol took me awhile to memorize byfuglien, and many feel he is a better dman than forward but man oh man was he a force as a forward in the 2010 WCF. Him and Niemi stole the show in that series

  12. for all those who complain about Burns to forward, consider this. Its an option the Sharks have — and most teams don’t. He certainly can play forward and play it very well.

    If the Sharks can find a team ready to part with a top 4 right-handed d-man, but can’t find a suitable forward at a similar price, Wilson has the flexibility to make that deal. And move Burns to F. Wilson would be foolish not to consider that possibility. That said, I think the comment by John is on the right track. Wilson said he’d move Burns to D — and I think he probably said it to the owner in order to show he was going to shake things up and was part of his plan to make things better. I don’t think Wilson cares about how he looks to anyone else, other than the boss. On that, I think he cares a lot!! Moving Burns to F would risks his looking dumb in the owner’s eyes.

    • exactly, it gives them an option. if petry is far cheaper than stafford, than they would be wise to acquire petry and move burns up. Have to think Wilson is considering that as an option

  13. Can we just stop with the hypotheticals of moving Burns to forward and Pavelski back to 3rd line center? This is not going to happen with DW as GM.

    • precedent says it has been done time and time b4 with Pavelski to 3C, and Burns was a huge success at forward.

      • Pavelski at 3C worked because the Sharks have Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley scoring what 60 goals between the two. The Sharks have NOT replaced that. Suggesting that Pavelski at 3C is the reason SJ moved on the Conference final in 2010 and 2011 is such a dumb and shortsighted statement I cannot even begin to explain.

      • Uhm…success? The Sharks lost to the Kings twice the Brent Burns as a forward. 2nd and 3rd rounds. Burns didn’t contribute much in either playoff runs. What success?

  14. Moving Burns back to forward would require Wilson to admit he made an enormous boneheaded error by making him a defenseman again. Do you really think that’ll happen? I would love to see it happen but just don’t.

    • well he did basically admit the burish contract was a boneheaded error. If the right deadline move for the team is to acquire a dman, then i think he could swing it to say that burns is a good dman, but his versatility allowed them to get a better trade by getting a dman and moving him up again

      • Basically, any D-man would let them roll the lines you listed. Since Burns pretty much stinks on defense he shouldn’t be too tough to replace. I, along with many Sharks fan friends, would very much like to see that.

        • yeah fedun could be decent replacement, but if they move him up, adding an established player would make them even better.

  15. Oh Andrew. We almost made it through an article, but just had to mention Brent Burns back to forward huh? 3 articles in a row, same narrative as all year? Don’t you have anythibg original to discuss or just enjoy being predictable?

    • While my last two articles reference burns moving to forward, the primary concepts were that Wilson must buy or must sell and if he buys these what are some of the options that make sense. Central focus hasnt been about moving Burns up to forward. But that seems like the only thing you want to focus on.

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