Poll: Are the Sharks still serious Stanley Cup contenders?

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This post is part of Sharks Day on PHT…

The San Jose Sharks are just two seasons removed from their first and only trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Unfortunately, they were unable to take down the Penguins in that series.

The roster hasn’t really changed since then, which can be good and bad.

The biggest change happened this summer, when Patrick Marleau surprised the hockey world by leaving the Sharks to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Even at 37 years old, Marleau still managed to score 27 goals last season. There’s no doubt that they’ll miss his production and experience.

Joe Thornton, who was also a free agent this summer, decided to sign a one-year deal with the club. Thornton is still productive, but like Marleau, his numbers have come down (seven goals and 50 points in 79 games). The veteran also underwent knee surgery in April, after his team was eliminated from the postseason.

San Jose didn’t spend big money to lure any free agents this off-season, but they did open up the vault to sign goalie Martin Jones and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to huge contract extensions that will keep them in San Jose for a while.

Also, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture are both back. They were San Jose’s two most productive forwards in 2016-17. Don’t be surprised if they’re the go-to guys up front this year too.

The supporting cast will be made up of some talented players that will be looking to bounce back.

Mikkel Boedker‘s first year as a Shark was a disaster. The speedster managed to score just 10 goals and 26 points in 81 games. The team will be hoping for year two to go a lot smoother than year one. Tomas Hertl, Jannik Hansen and Joonas Donskoi will also be counted on to help shoulder the load offensively.

The Sharks are in pretty good shape on defense. Brent Burns, who led the team in points (76) and was tied for first in goals (29), is the key figure back there. Over his last three seasons, he’s had 60, 75 and 76-point seasons. It’s entirely possible that he puts up similar totals next season.

Vlasic, Paul Martin, Justin Braun, Brenden Dillon and Dylan DeMelo round out the top six. Again, that’s a pretty solid group.

Last spring, the Sharks were bounced in the opening round of the playoffs by the Edmonton Oilers. It was a huge disappointment considering they were just two wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup the previous year.

Was it just an off year, or has the window closed on the Sharks?

Alright, it’s your turn to have your say. Vote in the poll below and feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section.