The San Jose Sharks made a splash into free agent waters in the summer, signing forward Mikkel Boedker to a four-year, $16 million deal.
So far, the returns have been minimal.
It wasn’t that long ago the speedy forward accomplished a 19-goal, 51-point season in Phoenix. But Boedker’s tenure in San Jose has so far yielded two goals and zero assists in 22 games — and that’s with time spent on a line with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton.
Further to that, Boedker hasn’t recorded a shot on goal in his last two games, either.
So, Sharks coach Pete DeBoer decided to bench Boedker for the third period Saturday against the rival Anaheim Ducks, according to CSN Bay Area.
“I would hope he’s pissed off. It’s always a last resort as a coach,” said DeBoer.
“You run through some different ways to try and get the player going, so to speak. And, overall, I’ve got to be honest with you – and this is the same conversation I’ve had with him – I don’t care about goals or points. It’s if the compete [that] starts to slip, I have a problem. I just felt that we had at that point in the game [Kevin] Labanc was moving and had a good edge to his game, and deserved to play. I’m sure [Boedker will] bounce back.”
It’s still kind of early in the season, so there is time for Boedker to turn it around. But, that’s a lot of money for a player stapled to the bench in a critical point in a game against a Pacific Division opponent.
“Everybody has expectations, obviously,” said Boedker. “It’s always hard to keep confidence up when you don’t score, don’t do that well. You’ve got to continue to grind at it and continue to try and make good plays, and just play your game.”
Meanwhile, there could be positive news on the injury front for the Sharks.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who left Saturday’s game before the third period, and forward Melker Karlsson, out since Nov. 12, both skated Monday, per the San Jose Mercury News, although their status for tomorrow’s game against the Arizona Coyotes is still up in the air.