The defending Western Conference champions beefed up their blueline on the opening day of free agency — San Jose has inked journeyman blueliner David Schlemko to a four-year, $8.4 million deal, one that carries a $2.1M average annual cap hit.
More, from the Sharks:
“David is a solid puck-moving defenseman with good speed who can play the game at both ends,” said [GM Doug] Wilson. “He is coming off of a very productive season in New Jersey and we think he will fit well with our group.”
Schlemko, 29, posted career-highs in goals (6), assists (13), points (19), power-play points (12), game-winning goals (3) and shots on goal (104) in a career-best 67 games played with New Jersey last season. He led all Devils blueliners in goals, ranked T-2nd in points and ranked 3rd on the team in blocked shots (88) and T-3rd in power-play points. In addition, Schlemko skated the eighth-most minutes per game of any Devils skater (18:38).
Schlemko will bolster a pretty solid Sharks blueline, one that already featured the likes of Brent Burns, Paul Martin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun, and Brenden Dillon. It’s possible Schlemko comes in and fills Roman Polak‘s spot on the bottom pairing next to Dillon.
That coupling was exposed at time in the Stanley Cup Final, though Schlemko might not the proper fit for a replacement given he’s a lefty, and so is Dillon.