One of the big moves made by the San Jose Sharks last season was to add goaltender James Reimer in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It was a move that not only gave them a reliable backup in the event that something happened to starter Martin Jones, but also one that could give him a couple of nights off down the stretch to keep him fresh for for the postseason (Reimer played eight games).
Jones ended up being one of the Sharks’ best players on their way to the Stanley Cup Final.
With the NHL trade deadline less than two weeks to go it is a position in San Jose that is once again drawing some attention.
Currently the Sharks have 27-year-old Aaron Dell serving as Jones’ backup, and to this point he has played exceptionally well with a .930 save percentage — and one shutout — in 11 games this season.
The concern, if there is one, is that those 11 games that Dell has appeared in this season are the only games he has played in his NHL career, meaning he is still really untested at the NHL level.
For some, that might be a concern, but it doesn’t appear to be one for the Sharks at this point, especially when it comes to coach Pete DeBoer. Here is DeBoer talking about his backup, via Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area.
“I don’t know what else he could do to show that he’s an NHL caliber goalie so far,” DeBoer said on Feb. 11. “Those are decisions that Doug [Wilson] makes, but in my mind, that’s not an issue right now for us.”
Along with the fact that Dell has played so well this season — admittedly in a very brief sampling of games — the Sharks do not really have a ton of prime draft picks to trade for a veteran backup goalie, owning no second-or third-round picks over the next two years.
Plus, you’re talking about a position that is likely to only a play a handful of games the rest of the way and it is unlikely to outperform what Dell has done so far this season.
Do you really want to give up a decent prospect for that?
The lack of experience for Dell might be a concern, but again, he has been outstanding at the NHL level this season and has consistently posted a better than .920 save percentage in the AHL over the past few years.
The best thing for the Sharks to do at this point is to give Dell a few more starts down the stretch to not only get him some more game action, but to also simply give Jones (who has already played in 49 games this season) a little bit of a break.