Report: Sharks among frontrunners for Moen

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Report: Sharks among frontrunners for Moen

Could Travis Moen be returning to the San Jose Sharks?

According to a report in the Toronto Sun, the Sharks are among the frontrunners for the 29-year-old veteran left wing, who has nine goals and seven assists for 16 points with the Montreal Canadiens.

Moen played 19 games for the Sharks in 2008-09, collecting three goals and two assists, when he was acquired from Anaheim along with Kent Huskins in exchange for Nick Bonino, Timo Pielmeier and a fourth round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft on March 4. He was scoreless in six playoff games before leaving as a free agent that summer to sign with Montreal.

According to the report:

Moen was having a career season offensively before he was injured with nine goals and seven assists but its his work ethic which has attracted attention from other teams. He plays at both ends of the ice and is a key element in one of the best penalty-killing units in the NHL. He was part of Anaheims Stanley Cup win in 2007. That year, he had seven goals in 21 playoff games, including the game-winner in the deciding game of the Cup final.

Moen is currently on injured reserve with an upper body injury suffered on Jan. 21, and although he has resumed skating, is out for at least another week.

The move could make sense for the Sharks, as Marty Havlat is not yet skating due to a partially torn hamstring and is likely out for another month. Furthermore, the penalty kill unit, despite recent improvement, is still 26th in the league (78.6 percent).

Montreal is one of few NHL teams already out of the playoff race, tied with Carolina for last place in the Eastern Conference with 49 points.

Report: Division rival interested in Joe Thornton

Report: Division rival interested in Joe Thornton

The mere thought of Joe Thornton wearing a Kings sweater may be enough to cause some Sharks fans to lose their lunch.

But it might be a possibility.

According to LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen, the Kings consider Thornton to be a “priority” should be hit the open market as a free agent. While the two sides are currently allowed to express mutual interest, NHL rules forbid them from discussing terms of any deal until Saturday at 9 a.m. PT.

Rosen points to a number of individuals in the Kings' organization that have ties to Thornton, including general manager Rob Blake, who played on the Sharks with Thornton from 2008-10. Mike O’Connell was Thornton’s general manager in Boston and currently serves as the Kings’ senior advisor to the general manager. Glen Murray, a former teammate and frequent linemate of Thornton’s with the Bruins for three-and-a-half seasons, is in Kings player development.

The Kings, under new management since replacing Dean Lombardi with Blake, and head coach Darryl Sutter with John Stevens, have put a priority on finding players this offseason that can get pucks to dangerous scoring areas. 

Adding one of the best passers in the history of the NHL would surely help in that regard. Thornton sits 13th in the NHL all-time with 1,007 assists.

Rosen writes: “Los Angeles has been a dominant possession team without being a high scoring team for the better part of the last six-plus seasons, and it was articulated earlier in the off-season that the team needed to do a better job of taking advantage of that possession discrepancy. In trying to find players with the ability to turn possession into actual production, the team has placed an emphasis on finding players capable of distributing the puck into high-danger in the attacking zone. There might not be another player in the NHL – let alone unrestricted free agents – who is as gifted of a passer of Thornton, which places the team’s needs in concert with the future Hall of Famer’s skill set.”

As reported here previously Thornton, who turns 38 on Sunday, is seeking a deal of three years. That might not be agreeable to the Sharks, who are likely to sign Martin Jones and Marc-Edouard Vlasic to long-term and expensive contract extensions that would kick in with the 2018-19 season.

Of course, Thornton could also be using the Kings as leverage to get a new deal in San Jose, where he would prefer to remain.

Tierney, Sorensen among players qualified by Sharks

Tierney, Sorensen among players qualified by Sharks

The Sharks have issued qualifying offers to restricted free agent forwards Chris Tierney, Marcus Sorensen and Barclay Goodrow, while cutting ties with three players in the system.

Tierney, 22, posted 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 80 games last season, serving primarily as the fourth line center. He has 64 points (24g, 40a) in 202 career games over three NHL seasons, all with the Sharks.

Sorensen posted one goal and three assists in 19 games with the Sharks last season, his first in the NHL. The 25-year-old played in all six playoff games against Edmonton, scoring one goal and one assist.

Goodrow, 24, skated in three games for the Sharks last season with one assist. He has 16 points (4g, 12a) in 77 games over three seasons with the Sharks, although has played in just 17 NHL games since the start of the 2015-16 season.

Forward Nikita Jevpalovs, defenseman Patrick McNally and goalie Mantas Armalis - also known for his career as a male model - were left unqualified and are now unrestricted free agents.

Earlier in the offseason, the Sharks signed pending restricted free agents Joonas Donskoi and Melker Karlsson. Donskoi received a two-year deal at a salary cap hit of $1.9 million, while Karlsson was signed to a three-year deal at $2 million annually.