It didn’t take long for the San Jose Sharks to start making decisions on the roster for next season.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson spoke on a conference call with the media today and said the team would not bring back defenseman Dan Boyle or forward Martin Havlat next season, as Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com shares. While Boyle is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, Havlat has one more year left on his contract with a $5 million cap hit.
Presumably the Sharks will try to trade Havlat, but if they can’t find a taker the team still has both of its compliance buyouts.
Wilson also added that Brent Burns would be moved back to defense. With Boyle out of the picture, moving the puck-moving Burns back on the blue line makes sense. He spent the past season and a half playing forward and scored 22 goals this season.
The only surprising news out of this is Burns moving back to defense. While the Sharks gave extensions to Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, the 37-year-old Boyle was left out of the mix.
Havlat dealt with injury problems this season and appeared to fall out of favor with coach Todd McLellan as he played on the fourth line when was in the lineup. Even though Havlat’s agent Allan Walsh said his client was happy in San Jose in November, the team is moving on without him regardless.
The San Jose Sharks may get a jolt of good news soon.
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said rookie forward Tomas Hertl may resume skating this week, as Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com shares. Wilson did not offer any further timeline for Hertl’s recovery.
Hertl injured his knee on Dec. 19 after a knee-on-knee collision with Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown and has not returned since then.
This season has been a breakout for the 20-year-old Czech. In 35 games, he had 15 goals and 10 assists and was leading the Sharks in goals scored for a time and was leading the discussion for the Calder Trophy through the first few months. Now that he’s closer to getting back on the ice, his return will act like a deadline pickup for the Sharks.
San Jose is currently in second place in the Pacific Division, seven points behind the Anaheim Ducks.
The news of San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl going in for surgery on his injured knee after a collision with Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown has the Sharks feeling disappointed for the kid.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson has another gripe about the whole situation, however. He doesn’t like that Kings have, essentially, hurt one of his players and had no remorse in doing so as Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com shares.
“Having played in this league a long time…when I was a rookie, I was tripped into a net in Hartford by the great Gordie Howe, and injured and carried off the ice,” Wilson said. “He came in between periods all the way around the rink to make sure I was OK. So, my response to the lack of, maybe, concern towards our player, is disappointing.”
Obviously that was a while ago and times have changed. Instead of visiting between periods, guys text each other or actually make a phone call. Sometimes they’ll visit after the game, but sometimes that doesn’t go over so well.
If Wilson was hoping Brown would show up with a fruit basket or singing telegram for Hertl for knocking him out of action, Wilson would be waiting for a while.
There’s nothing wrong with looking for concern, but sometimes players have a funny way of going about it.
Sharks forward Raffi Torres is going to miss a bit more than six weeks with a torn ACL.
Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com reports the rugged forward will be out 3-4 months after having surgery to repair the torn ligament. Sharks GM Doug Wilson offered an encouraging update.
“Raffi’s surgery went very well and we look forward to having him back in our line-up later this season,” said Wilson.
In case you missed it, Torres was injured in an accidental collision with Ducks forward Emerson Etem.
The new diagnosis puts the Sharks in a bit of a hole as Torres had been getting spins with their top two lines for a bit in preseason. While he’s normally a third line agitator, he’s tried to apply more of his skill in San Jose.
Now the Sharks will potentially add Anthony Stewart into the fold to fill his spot in the lineup.
Brent Burns won’t be returning to the blue line anytime soon.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson says the team will keep the converted defenseman up front next season. As Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com shares, it’s as much about the current defense as it is Burns’ skill as a forward.
“We feel very strong how our defense is constructed and how we expect them to continue to grow,” the general manager said. “How we want to play up front and go after people and make them defend, Burnzie just fits perfect. He still will be able to play the point on the power play and we can utilize his big shot, but we saw how good he can be and how he can impact games as a forward.
“I think it’s only going to get better if he trains specifically for that this summer, giving him that clarity and focus. I think he is a dominant power forward in this league.”
Burns’ move up front seemed to awaken the Sharks forwards last season as the team tore it up late in the year. He made it all worthwhile scoring nine goals and adding 11 assists last season.