Old Sharks find new homes
As with every sport, a team’s roster from year to year will very rarely be the same. A few players that played for the Sharks last year will be playing elsewhere for this upcoming season. Whether it was the player’s choice or not, the Sharks have lost the following players to free agency:
-Scott Nichol, St. Louis: It was announced prior to July 1st that Nichol would not be retained. Nichol’s effectiveness dropped as the season wore on, and he ended up in the press box for the final three games of the playoffs. He missed some time with injuries, and he was suspended for four games during the regular season. His contract is worth $600K over one year with $100K in performance bonuses ($700K cap hit).
-Kent Huskins, St. Louis: Huskins’ fate with the Sharks was sealed once they signed Jim Vandermeer to be the left-handed defensive defenseman on the bottom pair. He played in only 50 games due to injuries, but he returned to play in all five games of the Vancouver series. His contract is for one year and $1M.
-Jamal Mayers, Chicago: Mayers, like Nichol, was told before free agency started that he would not be retained by the Sharks. He signed a one year contract with the Blackhawks worth $550K with a $25K signing bonus. He was a good penalty killer for the Sharks, but they clearly wanted to move in another direction.
-Ben Eager, Edmonton: After Eager’s antics in Game 2 against Vancouver, it was all but certain that his Sharks career was over. The Oilers signed him to a three year deal worth $3.3M. He can be an effective agitator with some offensive ability, but he is very undisciplined. The Sharks acquired him from (then) Atlanta for a fifth round pick.
-Ian White, Detroit: White was acquired near the trade deadline from Carolina for a second round pick in the 2012 draft. The Sharks were a much better team once he got to San Jose, but he was pretty much out once they traded for Brent Burns. White played in the playoffs for the first time in his career this past season, and he got an assist on his first ever postseason shift. White will replace Brian Rafalski’s spot on the blueline in Detroit.
Niclas Wallin chose to play in Sweden, which I wrote about here. Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi will be playing for the Wild, but they were both traded and did not leave via free agency. Kyle Wellwood has not been signed by a team yet.