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The San Jose Sharks center will return to Canada and no longer play in Switzerland, but feels he could play immediately should the lockout end soon.
San Jose Sharks winger Ryane Clowe is skating with the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL.
It's something we've preached over and over this offseason: the San Jose Sharks are not going to be complacent. Just the Devin Setoguchi trade for Brent Burns was enough to show how serious the team is in regards to improving on defense. Then they went ahead and extended Burns for five years, but they aren't going to stop there. While this most recent signing isn't as groundbreaking, it's one that will solidify the Sharks' defensive unit:
According to David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News, defenseman Colin White has signed on with San Jose for one year. They'll be paying him $1 million, on top of the $2 million that New Jersey is paying him. White's only in for one year, but that's a great signing at this point in his career. He's not going to come in and play top minutes, but he's going to be a solid contributor and can play on the penalty kill units.
We'll see what else the Sharks have in store this offseason, but right now they're looking stronger than ever. Doug Wilson should get a tip of the hat for this signing.
Burns, 26, was named to the Western Conference All-Star Team this past season and ranked near the top in the league among defensemen in points, goals, assists and power play goals. He was also a crucial member to the penalty killing unit.
"We are thrilled that Brent has stepped forward and made long-term commitment to the San Jose Sharks, his new teammates and our fans," said Doug Wilson, the team's general manager, "When we acquired Brent, it was our intention to make sure that he remained an important piece of our organization moving forward and we are very pleased that we have been able to do that. As an elite-level defenseman who is just entering his prime, we are looking forward to meshing Brent's skills with our existing core group."
With the price of unrestricted free agents being astronomical and the steep price it took to acquire Burns from Minnesota -- Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and a first round selection (28th overall) in the 2011 draft were all sent in exchange for the defenseman -- this is a solid and necessary move for Doug Wilson and the Sharks.
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.
Every move the San Jose Sharks have made this offseason can be clearly slotted into two categories: not surprising and surprising. In past offseasons, they've mostly stuck to the former, making good signings here and there, but nothing necessarily earth-shattering. This offseason though ... everything is out the window. Everything being players like Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley, as it happens.
Surprising isn't necessarily bad, however, and the Sharks have ended up with some pretty good players thus far. Their two most recent signings should be positive, and only one of them happens to be surprising! The other, of course, is the signing of Benn Ferriero, according to CapGeek.com, Ferriero is on a one-year, two-way deal worth $605,500.
Ferriero has contributed every time he's come in, scoring goals here and there, including a game-winner in the playoffs, but he's had plenty of lapses in coverage out there. He's got a lot of potential, and maybe his lack of consistency is due to his lack of consistent play time at the NHL level, having to jump back and forth so much. If he gets a chance this year at that contract figure, he should be able to produce and be worth the money. The best part about it is the fact that he'll remain a restricted free agent after the season.
The surprising signing was bringing in Thomas Greiss. Surprising from the view of Greiss, that is. Greiss was slotted to be the team's true backup when they signed Antero Niittymaki, but then the team brought in Antti Niemi, and Greiss was an afterthought. He left to play in Sweden, and had a rather down year while there. Most figured the relationship between the two teams was irreparable.
There's a couple things that can happen now ... either the Sharks feel like Greiss is still the backup of the future and they groom him in the AHL for another season, while keeping him around as Alex Stalock is still injured or they dump Niittymaki's contract if somebody wants to trade for him and they make Greiss the primary backup.
Whatever the case, there's many more things to come. Who knows if they'll be surprising or unsurprising?
It's been an eventful offseason for the San Jose Sharks; the kind of offseason that signifies a team unwilling to be complacent. General manager Doug Wilson has been working to re-sign key pieces to the team like Jamie McGinn, Andrew Desjardins and Frazer McLaren, while being active in signing free agents from outside of the organization as well. Guys like Jim Vandermeer and Michal Handzus were brought in on one- and two-year deals, respectively.
Wilson also brought in a healthy crop of draftees sans a first-round pick that we'll get to in a moment, but guys like Matthew Nieto and Justin Sefton have promising future, though they are quite a ways away. Everything after that is a crapshoot, but Sean Kuraly looks like he has some upside as well. The verdict will be out on the 2010-2011 draft haul for years to come.
That is to say, except for the Sharks first-round pick which, along with Devin Setoguchi and Charlie Coyle, made their way to Minnesota in a trade with the Wild in which the Sharks acquired defenseman Brent Burns and a second-round pick. That was, by far, the biggest move they made this offseason. Setoguchi had just signed an extension and it's safe to assume the Sharks didn't have immediate plans to trade him away, but the very next day, they had the Burns trade on the table and made the move to acquire the defenseman they've needed for so long.
Then, the Sharks had some cap room to work with, so it looked as though they'd be making some big signings, but it was a trade that came through the pipes yet again. Wilson kept Minnesota on speed dial and sent another key piece of the Sharks over: Dany Heatley. In return, they received Martin Havlat. It was an odd trade, considering that Heatley is definitely better, but the Sharks did save a good amount of money on the deal with Havlat's contract. Is there anything else in store on this end, since it does seem one-sided? Who knows what's going to happen with Havlat.
Going forward, nobody is quite sure what's in store for the San Jose Sharks. The team that will see the ice for the 2011-2012 season will be very different from last season, and may look different still with more time left in this offseason and Doug Wilson prepped with cap room. Stay tuned to this stream for more in-depth looks at the moves thus far and coverage of anything yet to happen as the offseason moves on.