After making a big splash at the beginning of the NHL offseason, General Manager Doug Wilson and the San Jose Sharks have mellowed out in the second and third stages of free agency. They made some surprising, aggressive moves early on with the draft-day trade of Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and a first-round pick for Brent Burns, and they flipped Dany Heatley for Martin Havlat. Both of those trades were with the Minnesota Wild. Signing Thomas Greiss also would fall into that category.
When they brought in Havlat for Healtey, most speculated that there was more to it than just that trade. It makes sense to think so, when the public perception seems to be that the Heatley-Havlat trade was a bad one for the Sharks. Havlat seems to simply be a better player at this point, and the fact that Heatley's contract was worth more leads folks to believe that something else could be in store.
With approximately $7 million in cap space remaining, the Sharks still have some moves left. David Pollak of the Mercury News gave a broad statement in regards to that, but the sentiments need to be echoed:
****Are the Sharks finished revamping the lineup before training camp? How's this for an informed and ambiguous answer: Not necessarily.
"Revamping the lineup" seems to mean something more than signing some small-name guys, it implies tangible changes that's worthy of speculating on. Unfortunately, as Fear The Fin notes, there's not a ton of talent out there in free agency. The top tier guys have been snatched up and there's not that many splashes to be made. But as that post notes, arbitration could lead to bigger and better things for the Sharks.
Antti Niemi was a huge success last season, and he came through arbitration woes. Maybe that's how the Sharks will best utilize their $7 million in cap space, they could land some big name through arbitration. The point is that they have the space, and they have shown they're not complacent this offseason. The team can still improve, and while nothing is certain, the Sharks should be looking to do so.