Unless they sell off some of their veteran talent in a trade, or make use of one or both of their compliance buyouts, this summer, the San Jose Sharks are going to have very little flexibility from a financial standpoint to improve a roster that saw yet another playoff disappointment last year.
With the cap space available closing quickly, the Sharks were able to sign one of their two remaining restricted free agents to a new deal on Thursday, locking up defenseman Jason Demers to a one-year contract. That just leaves T.J. Galiardi on the roster among players holding RFA status.
Demers could be seen as fortunate to get a new deal from the Sharks after he missed over half of the season because of injury. He missed chunks throughout the 48-game campaign, appearing in only 22 tilts. In those 22 games, he notched just three points and was a minus-4 rating.
His best season came back in the 2010-11 season, when he posted 24 points in 75 games. He’s a solid puck mover from the blue line and capable of contributing on offense. His $1.5 million cap hit for the 2013-14 season isn’t the worst deal in the world, provided he can stay healthy.
Demers becomes the third player to be signed by the Sharks in the last two days, as both James Sheppard and Andrew Desjardins each signed one-year pacts with the Sharks earlier this week. With so little cap space left to work with, and a couple of needs on the roster, it’ll be interesting to see how the Sharks approach the remainder of their summer.