San Jose Sharks: It’s More About The ‘Core’ Than The Game
The San Jose Sharks home opener was everything you’d expect it to be - save for the outcome. The Sharks are sitting on 3 points with a 1-1-1 record but I did remind myself that 1) the Sharks typically play poorly if they have more than one day off between games and 2) conventional wisdom says it takes 10 games to find out which direction a team is going.
The bigger news is the contract extension of Joe Thornton. Apparently proposed by Joe and taking less than an hour to put together, Thornton inked a 3-year $21M contract which is a little less than what he’s making now and far less than what he could have made on the open market. I’m not planning to discuss the merits of having Joe on the team for 3 more years - good, bad or indifferent, or discuss whether or not he has the mental fortitude or personality to lead a team to the promised land (I’m not smart enough to figure all that out). What I find very interesting is the way the contracts have all fallen into place. The ‘core’ of the Sharks will be Thornton, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle - under contract through the 2013/2014 season.
I’m the kind of guy who hates change so having these guys locked up for the foreseeable future makes me feel warm and fuzzy. But I also understand that by having these guys signed to reasonable, short term contracts it makes them easier to trade. It’s also interesting that Heatley’s contract is one of those front-loaded types, so his salary actually starts dropping during his last 2 years. This frees up some nice salary cap space to help secure the next generation of Sharks.
In the end I’m getting some mixed feelings about the recent contract signings. Thornton, Marleau and Pavelski all took a combination of below market salaries and/or shorter contract lengths to stay in San Jose. Does that mean they believe this team can make a serious run or two at the cup or does it mean that there’s so little pressure (as opposed to a Toronto) that it’s just easier to stay here?
I hope it’s all about the run.
79 more games to go, but it’s all about the next 7.