Sharks Throw in Towel, Trade Sheppard to Rangers

(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

In a move that was far too predictable that I predicted it here last week, the San Jose Sharks shipped out pending unrestricted free agent James Sheppard on Sunday. The veteran forward is just 26-years-old but has struggled in a third line center role that he really wasn’t suited for. TSN’s Bob McKenzie broke the trade on twitter:

While Sheppard is a nice complementary forward, the Sharks have decided to ice a lineup this year with multiple players not in the right spots. Not only Sheppard, but Brent Burns has been a failure on his return to the blue-line this year and over the past four years, the vast majority of San Jose’s win streaks have come with Joe Pavelski at third line center. This year, the Sharks have failed to use Pavelski at third line center even once this season.

Reportedly coming back for Sheppard is a 2016 fourth round selection. The Sharks acquired Sheppard in the summer of 2011 for a third round pick. Therefore they basically get back what they gave up,  just one round lower pick. After all, the probability of success rate between a third and fourth rounder isn’t much different.

This Sheppard trade clearly indicates that the Sharks front office is throwing in the towel on winning this season and that is smart. They simply haven’t been good enough all year long and keeping all their pending free agents just for the small chance of a playoff spot wouldn’t be wise. Sheppard will go to the Rangers where he can actually fit in on a team known for strong depth and not have to be asked to do too much. San Jose wanted him to be a difference maker on the third line and he simply isn’t that type of player. However, as the second or third best player on a third line or best player on a fourth line, Sheppard can be a vital piece for the Rangers’ cup run.

19 thoughts on “Sharks Throw in Towel, Trade Sheppard to Rangers”

  1. Way to go, Sharks. What daring moves! The fans should be swarming HP. Good luck in the off season. Just stand pat and I am sure we will win the Cup next year.

  2. Well, they just traded Desjardins too. Getting Ben Smith/Chicago (F) in return. Get a fork, they’re done (for this season)!

  3. your boss should be fired for hiring you, throwing in the towel would be trading everday key players. although he was one of the few sharks who actually cared about being on the ice and standing up for his teammates, he still can be pretty easily replaced. the problem here is complete lack of motivation, killer instinct, and the will to fight. for whatever reason it may be, they are enjoying getting pushed around this year and are completely uninterested in pushing back, now go get your spatula ready for your new career cause if your bad articles and your BOLD predictions is the best you got, your in trouble.

  4. Trading Sheppard for a 4th rounder doesn’t amount to much. It’s like saying “big changes” then simply not resigning Boyle, getting rid of Havlat, and moving Burns to defense.

  5. this is a really big beach towel we are talking about probably one with a 14 year old justin bieber on it that is how far out of touch the sharks are.

    • sharks had a good 10 year run with great regular season success and bitter playoff memories. Boston trade Jumbo because they felt he could not get them over the hump in the playoffs and history has made their assessment correct.

      • I have to disagree. When Niemi is hot, he’s better than Stalock. However, that isn’t happening much anymore. Niemi is better, just not by much.

        • yes but its been quite a while – i suspect the kings series loss took a lot out of him mentally and thats a lot for a goalie- my son was in the net and when his head was off – omg!

    • I hate how this team plays like crap, leaves gaping holes in the defensive zone, allowing for WIDE open shots, leaving their goalie hung out to dry. The Detroit game was a perfect example. Niemi played lights out. Then this team fizzled out in the third. The score should have been 6-2. The problem is that there are knuckles heads out there that actually believe that Niemi is the issue.

      Scott Hannan and Justin Braun anyone? Better off replacing them with cardboard cutouts, our goalies might stand a better chance. How about the forwards who believe that is not their responsibility to defend their goal?

  6. I’m
    tired of seeing people freak out over the Sharks suck this season when
    it was so easy to see it coming. 2014 was a fluke and if you cannot
    accept that then you clearly did not see that ridiculous
    over-achievement by well over half the roster during the worst injury
    plagued season since the 2005 lockout.

    But to better explain this why not compare this season to 2011, when San Jose was solid all around the puck.

    Marleau-Thornton-Heatley
    Clowe-Couture-Setoguchi
    Wellwood-Pavelski-Mitchell
    McGinn-Nichol-Mayers (Ferriero, Eager)

    Murray-Boyle
    Vlasic-Demers
    Wallin-White

    Now using this thing called math the Sharks dramatically lost their
    ability to succeed offensively after 2011. Mainly because they traded
    two top 6 forwards AND Ryane Clowe began to decline. Joe Pavelski was
    already putting up 60 points per season in 2011 and Couture was putting
    up over 50 so what has San Jose done to replace the scoring of Clowe,
    Setoguchi and Heatley. These three guys combined for over 160 POINTS!

    Well, Pavs and Couture have slighty. SLIGHTY increased their scoring
    so there is that, but Thornton and Marleau have declined so that negates
    it.

    Essentially the 160 points those three players provided in 2011 and
    even more in 2010 is being replaced by Hertl, Nieto and Wingels.
    Unfortunately by the end of the season these three players combined will
    not eclipse 100 points…they didn’t in 2014 either. There in lies the
    problem

    You might say to yourself BUT BRENT BURNS FORWARD ERMAGERD!?!!? Well
    in 2014 if you wanted to include Burns at forward to make up for
    injuries you still wind up short of 160 points and it takes up 4 roster
    spots instead of 3.

    On top of that the Sharks top 4 scoring D in 2011 combined for over
    100 points, without Burns the Sharks would be lucky to crack 60 by the
    end of this season. You can’t just forget about how important Dan Boyle
    was and blue line scoring was in 2010 and 2011.

    Anyway rant over, sorry that there isn’t anything positive to say.
    Winning eventually ends, not that SJ has ever won anything. Feels like
    2003 all over again.

    • Your right to point out the offense peak in 2011 and SJ did go to the conference final.
      But it was the right time to move all 3 players as they all went into decline, so SJ would not stayed the same, also SJ had to move Heatley’s salary to keep Couture and Pavelski.

      SJ for 5-6 years operated right up against Salary Cap & very good, but no Stanley Cup.
      Unfortunately Neimi, Hertl, Nieto, Marleau and others are having off years at the same time SJ, by Owner directive, has gone back to operating like a small market team, well below the Cap. SJ is a much younger team now. We will see how it turns out.

      The Salary Cap forces changes and turnover. When CHI won the cup, Hossa was their big salary now they are up against it. Same with LA, they had room to bring in a Carter and Gaborik, but are now up against the cap. New teams are emerging.

      • Very true they needed Heatleys cap off the books, but trading Heatley for Havlat straight up is possibly the worst trade SJ has made over the past 5 years given how much value he still had and how much value Havlat no longer had. If anything SJ needed to trade Heatley for Burns straight up.

      • You can’t move 3 offensive players with 0 plan for the future.

        Also the Sharks were not “very good” after 2011.
        2012 Nemo was the only reason they even made the playoffs.
        2013 Brent Burns sparked a dying offense.
        2014 SJ got lucky with call-up after call-up during their most injury plagued season after the 2005 lockout.
        Heatley for Havlat was a horrible trade
        Setoguchi and Coyle for Burns was also not a properly made trade. The Sharks gave away two top six forwards at the time and their best prospect at the time for an over the hill play maker not goalscorer and a defensemen.

        At this time Nieto probably will not turn into anything better than a 40 point player as he looks like Torrey MItchell all over again. Hertl might not do much better with his apparent fear of going to the net after 2014.

        Those two trades are why the Shark offense has been in a rut since 2011 and it doesn’t look like any type of recovery is coming soon. Even if Hertl or Nieto pick it up Thornton and Marleau will soon be struggling to put up 40-50 points a season…if they are even still in San Jose.

        Poor planning.

    • Have u seen Heatley’s numbers or seen him play after the trade? SJ got lucky trading him and I’m a Wild fan I honestly don’t think he was the same player sense his car crash and he also took up a lot cap space for us.

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