After staying quiet for the first four hours of the 2011 free agency period, the Sharks finally decided to make a move.
The Sharks signed defenseman Jim Vandermeer to a one year contract worth $1M. Vandermeer played last season with the Oilers. In 62 games last year, he scored two goals, had 12 assists, 74 penalty minutes, 122 hits, and 78 blocked shots. He is a defensive defenseman who is very physical and does not provide much on offense. He’s 6’1, 215, so he has some size. He isn’t afraid to fight either, which is good considering Ryane Clowe and Douglas Murray can’t afford to sit in the penalty box for five minutes (coincidentally, his first NHL fight was against Clowe). The huge knock against Vandermeer is his durability. He’s played more than 62 games in a season just twice, and he’s never played more than 76 games in a season. A physical defenseman will miss games though, and the Sharks do have some replacements.
Vandermeer will play on the third pair or serve as the seventh defenseman. He will also play on the penalty kill. There will be a post on how I think the defense should line up in the near future.
Vandermeer’s signing all but spells the end of Ian White and Kent Huskins in teal. White was probably out after Brent Burns was traded for anyway, and who knows if he would have been re-signed if Burns wasn’t traded for. Vandermeer might not be in the starting lineup on opening night though, as the Sharks like to give their younger players a chance to compete for a spot in the lineup. Those two players would be Justin Braun and Mike Moore.
Still, considering Vandermeer’s cap hit last season was $2.3M, and that teams are handing out money like free candy, this is a great deal for the Sharks. There’s also this.
“There were some options out there, but looking at San Jose’s track record the last couple of years, they’ve been a great team for a while,” Vandermeer said. “I feel this is the best chance at winning a Stanley Cup now.”