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San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks: Patrick Marleau’s Stock Up, Evgeni Nabokov’s Stock Down

San Jose SharksThere’s a great article on ESPN about this year’s free agency pool, specifically the lack of depth around all positions except one - goal tending. The article points out that there will be a lot of known goal tenders looking for jobs come July 1st, including Marty Turco, Martin Biron, Dan Ellis, Michael Leighton, Chris Mason, Jose Theodore, Antero Niittymaki, Vesa Toskala*, Johan Hedberg, Patrick Lalime, Manny Legace, Alex Auld, Andrew Raycroft and Curtis Sanford.

Today “The War Room” on XM’s NHL Home Ice discussed what, if anything, did this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs show us? The answer was that you don’t have to pay a lot for a net minder to go the distance. The emerging paradigm in the NHL is that you do not (and should not) have to make your goal tender one of the highest paid players on your team.

This means two things for the San Jose Sharks.

First if Evgeni Nabokov leaves there are plenty of other options available, and with the goal tending ‘glut’ it’s possible the Sharks could get a reliable goal tender for far less than the $6M they paid Nabokov this past season. Imagine getting a reliable goal tender like Dan Ellis for $2M (what he made in ‘09-’10) - the remaining $4M could be spent on acquiring a few defensemen.

Second, this dynamic means that Patrick Marleau is worth a lot on the open market given the lack of available quality forwards. The Sharks really need to sign him before July 1, I just hope we hear something from the team sooner rather than later.

Any thoughts on who you’d like to see in net for the Sharks next year?

*Sorry, I don’t see Toskala returning to the team.

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Discussion

2 comments for “San Jose Sharks: Patrick Marleau’s Stock Up, Evgeni Nabokov’s Stock Down”

  1. I agree, we should sign Patrick Marleau and let Nabokov walk. Nabokov is 35 years old and most goalies play 6 to 7 real good years, which I think are behind him. I really like Chris Mason and Dan Ellis. Mason is overlooked because he has been on bad teams. He is not much younger than Nabokov but I think he is a late bloomer and has better years in front of him. Ellis is younger and wants to be a starting goalie in the NHL instead of backing up Pekka Rinne. Whoever we sign will only be successful as long as we have decent defensemen in front of him. These cheaper goalies we hear about have real good defensemen like Pronger or Seabrook in front to clear bodies from screening them. Maybe with the money saved with Blake’s retirement we can sign a player like Anton Volchenkov. Also whoever we get should split time with Griess. We really don’t know what we have with Griess because he does not play enough.

    Below is an article from Puck Daddy of Yahoo following an interview on KNBR with Greg Jamison. It sounds like the Sharks want to sign Nabokov:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Report-Sharks-want-Nabokov-back-show-disdain-f?urn=nhl,248569#remaining-content

    Posted by FC SharksfanNo Gravatar | June 17, 2010, 9:49 am
  2. This just posted from the Sharks Web site. Nabokov will not be back:

    The San Jose Sharks are facing a scenario they’ve previously dealt with in the NHL’s salary cap era, but not quite at this level. Players have moved on in recent years because the dollar amounts didn’t add up, but as the Sharks prepared for the upcoming July 1 free agent period, it became clear that San Jose could not keep all their top stars moving forward.

    Under the NHL’s current salary structure, there are only so many elite players a team can afford and sometimes something has to give. Due to this situation Sharks will be going forward with a new goaltending situation next year, meaning Evgeni Nabokov, who has held down the top job since 2000, will not be back in teal. Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson spoke with Nabokov in person Tuesday about everything.

    The Sharks have several other players who are restricted or unrestricted free agents and there are only so many dollars to spread around, so Wilson had to make the tough call.

    Having this decision in hand allows Wilson to be proactive on potential contracts for current players such as Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Scott Nichol, Manny Malhotra, Niclas Wallin and Devin Setoguchi. This direction will give San Jose flexibility in other areas as well.

    “We would like to thank Nabby for the time he has spent in San Jose,” said Wilson. “Nabby has been a big part of this team for the past 10 seasons and played an important role is our successes. This decision boils down to a dedication of dollars in a salary cap system and under this system, teams can’t keep everyone. We are excited about the goaltenders coming up through our system and we will also keep an eye on assets that may become available in the coming weeks.”

    “Moving forward, we now have to turn our focus to other players in our organization who have expiring contracts in the next two weeks.”

    By letting Nabokov know this in advance, it gives both the player and the team time to begin sorting through their options before July 1.

    Posted by FC SharksfanNo Gravatar | June 22, 2010, 2:49 pm

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