Zubrus was supposed to be on the books with the New Jersey Devils this year, but in late July the Devils used a second buyout window (opened because a RFA filed for arbitration) to buyout Zubrus’s contract. Zubrus couldn’t find a contract over the summer and wound up taking an in-season PTO with the St. Louis Blues, which he was released from just over a week ago when the team decided to sign Martin Havlat, who was also on a PTO, instead.
Playing under the Sharks new head coach Pete DeBoer last season, Zubrus scored four goals and six assists in 74 games.
The Sharks currently sit outside the playoff picture and are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games, but it’s not entirely clear how Zubrus would fit into the team picture. They’ve had a revolving day of players coming up to the NHL club from the San Jose Barracuda in the AHL, but part of that may really be more related to the salary cap and having the AHL club in the same city for the first time.
But that revolving door does speak to some dissatisfaction with what the team is getting out of the bottom of their lineup. Many of the young players have been inconsistent and the team’s third line, with Matt Nieto and Tommy Wingels, hasn’t been the force they were last year, able to play tight defensively, bring a physical game and add solid secondary scoring. Yet, it’s hard to see how Zubrus fixes any of those problems.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.