Pavelski, Sharks talk trade rumors


Pavelski, Sharks talk trade rumors

Programming note: Tune in today at 4 p.m. when the puck drops in Toronto as the Sharks face the Maple Leafs, only on Comcast SportsNet California. And stay tuned following the game for a full wrap up of the action with Sharks Postgame Live.

TORONTO When youre a player on a team thats smack dab in the middle of a multitude of NHL trade rumors with the deadline less than a week away, there are probably better places to be than Toronto.

Practices and games in the hockey capital of North America always bring a throng of media attention, and the Sharks players got to experience that first hand at the Maple Leafs practice facility on Wednesday afternoon, especially with reports surfacing that the team may be trying to land Columbus star Rick Nash.

Definitely on the West Coast its a little tamer than here, Ryane Clowe said.

Regarding the upcoming trade deadline on Feb. 27, Clowe said: Its definitely exciting for the fans. Its almost like a holiday here in Canada. Players say they block out stuff, and probably do, but you read the news and stuff and hear the rumors and all that. Thats just part of the game.

Players are fans of the game, too. Just because you play doesnt mean youre not following the rest of the league. You hear about it, but theres not a whole lot you can do.

The Nash news, in which it was reported that San Jose has a growing interest, came out shortly after the Sharks dropped their fourth straight game in Columbus on Tuesday. Captain Joe Thornton was asked specifically about the rumor regarding the Blue Jackets scoring winger, with whom he won a gold medal at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

We dont play those games. We play with the guys weve got in here, and dont worry what the outside nonsense is saying, Thornton said.

Its believed that in order to land a player of Nash caliber, the Sharks would have to part ways with an established young player and a combination of draft picks and prospects.

Joe Pavelskis name has surfaced, if only because he would be the next most logical choice after it was reported that Logan Couture is an untouchable asset.

The 27-year-old Pavelski, who is having a career year with 22 goals and 24 assists for 46 points, doesnt seem phased.

RELATED: Joe Pavelski game logs

Were a team thats looking to add, more than anything, Pavelski said. Thats what we expect, and we believe in everyone in here. Weve seen how everyone can get the job done throughout the season, and we just need everyone to step up their game and find that spot where theyre comfortable, and theyre contributing.

The Sharks recent struggles have only added to the speculation, as the club has lost seven of its last nine overall and is just 1-4-1 on its current nine-game road trip.

Its going to be tough to get out of this, Pavelski said. Were going to win a game 2-1 or 1-0 and its going to be one of those tight ones where somebody steps up and finds a way. You never quite know who its going to be, so thats why we need everybody.

Thornton said: Its been a tough road trip, but were still pretty optimistic. We have to win some games now. Were in a tough race to make the playoffs. Weve still got to feel good about ourselves, and play with some confidence, and find our game somehow.

The Sharks visit Nashville and Minnesota this weekend before returning home to face Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Sharks' Vlasic joins Canada for World Championships

Sharks' Vlasic joins Canada for World Championships

Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic will compete in the upcoming IIHF World Championships for Team Canada, it was announced on Friday.

The tournament runs from May 5-21 in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany. 

Vlasic, 30, a native of Montreal, has played in the tournament twice before in 2009 and 2012. He also represented Canada in the 2014 Olympic Games, helping it to a gold medal, and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which Canada also captured.

In 75 games with the Sharks this season, Vlasic posted 28 points (6g, 22a) and a +4 rating. He was second on the team in shorthanded time on ice (2:04 per game) and blocked shots (146).

A pending restricted free agent in 2018, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson called getting Vlasic signed to a long-term deal an offseason priority for the club. The two sides can begin negotiations on July 1.

“Vlasic [is] arguably one of the best defensemen in the league,” Wilson said. “[He] is still one of the most underrated players in the league in the outside world.”

The Sharks lost in the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs to Edmonton, although Vlasic and partner Justin Braun helped to keep Connor McDavid in check at even strength. The league's leading scorer had just one even strength point in the six-game series, an empty net goal with less than one second left in Game 6.

Boedker tops list of disappointing Sharks depth forwards

Boedker tops list of disappointing Sharks depth forwards

SAN JOSE – The Sharks didn’t make any blockbuster moves last summer, content to make another run in 2016-17 with largely the same group that came within two wins of capturing the Stanley Cup.

They still acquired a notable player, though, when Mikkel Boedker was signed on July 1 to add an element that the Sharks knew they needed more of moving forward – speed. Boedker was expected to make the team faster, after the Sharks were exposed for not having enough of that against Pittsburgh in the NHL’s final round, as well as play in a top six role. 

At the time, it was hailed as a slick, under-the-radar move that wasn’t going to change the dynamic of the club but could help push it over the top.

When Boedker was a healthy scratch in games three and four of the first round against Edmonton, the evidence became clear, though, that this was a decision that fell flat on its face. 

Frankly, Boedker – who is signed for three more years with a $4 million salary cap hit – brings back visions of Sharks bust Marty Havlat. You know the skill is there, but the desire to use it on a nightly basis while showing any semblance of a battle level is lacking. 

Should the Sharks give Boedker another chance next season, or should they do everything in their power to try and move him? That’s a question that will likely be debated in the front office over the next several weeks.

On get-away day on Monday, indications were that the Sharks were planning on sticking with the 27-year-old, who finished with 26 points in the regular season (10g, 16a) and added one goal and one assist in four games in the playoffs.

“He has the things we’re looking for: his career scoring average, his speed, [penalty killing] ability,” general manager Doug Wilson said. “Did he meet the expectations that he had for himself [or] that we had for him? No. Can we get that out of him? Pete [DeBoer] believes we can.”

DeBoer has known Boedker since he played for him in 2007-08 in Kitchener (OHL). Despite scratching him in the playoffs, DeBoer said he saw “huge improvement” in Boedker throughout the course of the season after the forward spent nearly all of his NHL career in Arizona.

“There was an adjustment. He’s played 6-7 years a certain way in the NHL,” DeBoer said. “We’ve asked him to play differently here, and there was an adjustment.”

Boedker still believes that he can be a fit in San Jose.

“I think it will be and it can be,” he said. “It’s learning period, but you’ve also got to look in the mirror yourself and see what you can change and what assets you need to bring. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m ready to do that.”

The list of Sharks depth forwads that had frustrating seasons hardly begins and ends with Boedker, though.

Veteran Joel Ward’s production dipped from 43 points last season to 29 in 2016-17, although that probably isn’t too surprising considering he’s 36. Tomas Hertl is proving to be a streaky player, too, although his season was interrupted by another a knee injury.

The bigger disappointment came from players like Chris Tierney and Joonas Donskoi, who both made big impressions in the 2016 playoffs but struggled to produce consistent offense this year. Both were mentioned by name by DeBoer on Monday.

There are some promising youngsters in the pipeline like Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Marcus Sorensen, but it’s still too early to project any of them as can’t-miss scorers at the NHL level.

“I think we’ve got a large group of guys that I like, but need to step up,” DeBoer said. “Is Sorensen [like] Donskoi next year, where he takes a step back, or [does he take a] step forward? We’ve got a lot of guys that there’s a lot of potential there – Chris Tierney. 

“There’s a lot of those guys, but they need to have big summers and take a step, and show that they’re not just one season or one month players.”