Sharks

Sharks Notes: Pavelski surging; Candid J.R.

pavelski_joe_black_jersey_sharks.jpg

Sharks Notes: Pavelski surging; Candid J.R.

Joe Pavelski is hitting his stride. Unfortunately, it’s in the Kontinental Hockey League.

The Sharks forward, currently playing for Dinamo Minsk, has a seven-game point streak with four goals and five assists over that span. In his first eight games, Pavelski managed just one assist and was sidelined briefly with a minor leg injury.

Dinamo Minsk is currently in 10th place in the 14-team Western Conference.

* * *

Former Sharks forward and NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick is again urging the players to ink a new collective bargaining agreement as quickly as possible, and openly questioned NHLPA head Donald Fehr’s tactics and intentions in an interview over the weekend.

Speaking with NextSportStar.com’s Josh Rimer on Saturday, Roenick was his usual candid self in regards to the ongoing lockout.

A few snippets…

On the deal that was offered by NHL last week: "I'm a player's guy, and I'll always be a player's guy, but I think the deal that's on the table is worth signing and playing."

"The players have given a lot, don't get me wrong. But now, it's time to sign a deal. Donald Fehr should be telling players right now to sign a deal."

More on Fehr: "From what I've seen in the last few days how talks have been going, Fehr better start representing the players more responsibly."

On the owners’ offer of a five-year cap on contracts: “Five-year contracts are more than good for sports. I think longer contracts are bad for the owners. I think it’s bad for the cap. That’s a nice lengthy contract, where guys can make good money and get good security. I have never been a fan of long contracts.”

On the state of the game: “Hockey is getting destroyed right now. It goes even further than the players and the owners, it goes to the fans, it goes to the people that work at the arenas. People are losing their jobs.”

The full interview can be found here.

* * *

Joe Thornton’s good friend Rick Nash has deserted him in Davos.

Nash, a teammate of Thornton’s in Switzerland, recently returned to New York to get treatment on what appears to be a minor groin injury.

“It’s purely precautionary, but we’re taking the ‘Better safe than sorry’ approach,” Joe Resnick, Nash’s agent, told the New York Post. “There’s nothing for anyone to be alarmed about.”

The Columbus Blue Jackets dealt Nash, a good friend of Thornton and whose name was frequently mentioned as a potential trade target for San Jose at last year’s deadline and again this summer, to the Rangers in the offseason.

In 17 games with Davos, Nash, who could return if the NHL cancels its season, has 12 goals and six assists for 18 points.

Thornton, meanwhile, has a very Thornton-esque seven goals and 22 assists for 29 points in 27 games, tying him for the team lead in scoring (eighth in league scoring).

* * *

Adam Burish seemed genuinely frustrated back on September 21, when he was in the Bay Area practicing with his new team at Sharks Ice.

“I haven’t gotten to see the team dynamic, see how guys are together, see how guys interact. That’s kind of tough for me,” he said nearly three months ago.

Burish also said he was exploring his options overseas at the time, so that he could “stay sharp” in the event of a lengthy lockout. Instead, he’s been a part of a couple of charity games, the latest coming over the weekend in Windsor, Ontario. Burish was a part of the losing “Black Team,” and scored two goals in an All-Star Game-type final score of 17-11.

The crowd at the WFCU Center, a short drive from Detroit, was estimated at 4,500 people. Other participants included 11 Red Wings as well as former Sharks Jamal Mayers and Kyle Wellwood.

Burish signed a four-year, $7.4 million contract with the Sharks on July 1.

* * *

The Worcester Sharks moved into sole possession of first place following another come-from-behind victory on Sunday night.

Tim Kennedy and Brodie Reid scored third period goals in a 3-2 road win over the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ AHL affiliate. Worcester has a league-leading five wins when trailing after two periods.

Worcester, 12-8-1-2, has won seven of its last eight road games. The Sharks continue to be led by Kennedy, who has 26 points (12g, 14a) in 23 games. He’s tied for third in the league in scoring, behind Edmonton Oilers/Oklahoma City Barons Justin Schultz (32 points) and Jordan Eberle (30 points), and tied with Philadelphia Flyers/Adirondack Phantoms’ forward Brayden Schenn.

One more prospect note: Goaltender J.P. Anderson, signed as a free agent by the Sharks on Sep. 21, 2010, recorded his 115th Ontario Hockey League win on Sunday to set a new league record for victories.

Anderson, a 5-11, 190-pounder, currently plays for the Sarnia Sting, where he’s spent the past two seasons after four years with the Mississagua Majors.

"We are proud to congratulate J.P. on achieving this milestone," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said of the 20-year-old. "He has made great progress throughout his OHL career and we look forward to watching him continue to develop with Sarnia Head Coach and General Manager Jacques Beaulieu."

Sorensen returns to Sharks after having 'positive impact' last season

Sorensen returns to Sharks after having 'positive impact' last season

Editor's Note: The above video is from March 2, 2017

One of the Sharks’ young forwards expected to challenge for a full time roster spot this season has been re-signed.

Marcus Sorensen, who started the year in the AHL before working his way up to the Sharks, signed a two-year contract extension the team announced on Tuesday. A source told NBC Sports California that the deal is worth $700,000 at the NHL level for each of the next two seasons.

In 19 regular season games with the Sharks, Sorensen, 25, posted one goal and three assists. He appeared in all six playoff games against Edmonton, posting one goal and one assist.

In 43 games with the AHL Barracuda, Sorensen had 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points.

"The time he spent with the Sharks this season, and the positive impact he had, proved that he can be an effective player at the highest level,” assistant general manager Joe Will said in a statement.

Sorensen originally signed with the Sharks as a free agent on May 13, 2016. He was originally drafted by Ottawa in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, but spent six seasons playing in Sweden before joining San Jose.

Sorensen was a restriced free agent. The Sharks have just one RFA left to sign in forward Barclay Goodrow.

https://twitter.com/sorensenmarcus/status/887412566447628288

Mailbag: Will Sharks miss Marleau's leadership? Thornton to be bumped?

Mailbag: Will Sharks miss Marleau's leadership? Thornton to be bumped?

Now that the dust has settled on the draft and free agency, here’s a meaty offseason Sharks mailbag before my vacation…

Who will replace Patty's leadership? (philip malan‏ @pmalan1979)

Patrick Marleau was a good example for other players in that he always came to camp in great shape and took care of himself between games, allowing him to be very productive into his later years. 

But let’s not overblow it. From what I understand, Marleau preferred to avoid confrontation, and was never the guy in the dressing room challenging other players to step up. That was left more to guys like Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, with Logan Couture growing into that role in recent years, too. When it comes to veteran leadership there are other guys still in the dressing room of more value than Marleau. His leaving town shouldn’t change the dynamic.

Will Thornton be bumped from the top line center role? Who do you think will replace Marleau on the PP? (Elle‏ @LikeShiningOil)

The whole “top line” designation is something that us writers and broadcasters like to use, and I’m going to keep using it for Thornton so long as he and Pavelski are on the same line. That said, there will be plenty of games where the Couture line gets more even-strength ice time than the Thornton line. I guess my point here is don’t read too much into the labels. I don’t expect Thornton’s ice time to go down from what it was last season. He’s averaged 18 minutes and change in each of the past five seasons, and probably will again.

As for replacing Marleau on the power play, I would tab Tomas Hertl as the frontrunner, but I’m sure the Sharks will try a number of different looks there in training camp. After finishing 25th in the NHL last season they pretty much have to, right?

How will the lines roll this season, if you were to prognosticate now? (Erik Kuhre @Puckguy14)

It seems like we say this every year, but it depends on where the Sharks see Hertl slotting in. Last season Hertl started out on the wing of the top line after offseason knee surgery before moving to center fairly quickly. I know he battled through yet another knee injury during the season, but Hertl’s 22 points in 49 games was a disappointing total.

If the season were starting today, I’d put Hertl on the wing of the Thornton line again with, of course, Pavelski on the other side. Here’s what I’ve got in that scenario:

Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Timo Meier – Logan Couture – Joonas Donskoi
Jannik Hansen – Chris Tierney – Mikkel Boedker
Melker Karlsson – Ryan Carpenter – Joel Ward

Extras: Marcus Sorensen, Kevin Labanc, Barclay Goodrow

(One guy who is really going to have to fight to keep his spot is Ward. I could see him getting pushed out, but for now I’m leaving him in).

Will there be a tough guy in the lineup to protect the kids? (Jim Kelley)

The Sharks signed free agent Brandon Bollig a couple weeks ago to replace Micheal Haley, but I don’t seem him as a regular in the NHL lineup. Bollig could be a guy they recall if they think it’s necessary to dress a pugilist, like when Pete DeBoer brought up Haley late in the 2015-16 season for the sole reason of fighting Darnell Nurse, who had jumped Sharks defenseman Roman Polak just two weeks earlier for no real reason.

Do you think Chris Tierney is capable of more point production at this point in his career? (Ian Stephenson)

Count me among those that thought Tierney was ready to have a better season last year after his strong performance in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Still, he’s just 23 years old, and his line in the series against Edmonton with Meier and Sorensen was a very effective one for long stretches of play. This is a huge year for Tierney, who had to settle for the Sharks’ one-year, $735,000 qualifying offer. Perform, and he’ll get paid. Struggle, and he could be on the move.

Do you think the Sharks will trade either Grosenick or Dell? Doesn't seem Grosenick has much more to prove in AHL. (Chris Greni)

No, they’ll hold on to all three for the time being. Getting Troy Grosenick re-signed to a one-year deal was a nice move on the Sharks’ part, considering Aaron Dell still has just 20 games of NHL experience. Perhaps if they both continue to play well the Sharks could dangle one as trade bait later in the year, but it wouldn’t make sense at this point. 

Any thoughts on DW using the offer sheet to bring in scoring help? There’s several serviceable RFAs out there still waiting for contracts. (Tony Martinico)

Keep in mind that some of those high end RFAs, like Colton Parayko, Nino Niederreiter and Tomas Tatar are currently headed for arbitration, which takes the offer sheet off the table.

Purely speculation here, but I have to wonder if the Sharks have at least kicked around trying to ink Leon Draisaitl to an offer sheet. You have to think Berlin native Hasso Plattner would love to add the “German Gretzky” to the roster. I know we're settling into the part of the NHL offseason where typically nothing happens, but it was July 19 when the Flyers signed Shea Weber to a monster offer sheet five years ago.

And, of course, Doug Wilson has used the power of the offer sheet in the past, signing Niklas Hjalmarsson in 2010 and then using the threat of an offer sheet with Boston to acquire Martin Jones.

Which Cuda player, aside from Meier, Labanc and Sorensen, would you expect to be a dark horse and could make the big team out of camp? (olin @sleepymofo)

Keep in mind that the sixth and defensemen spots are open, too. I would presume that Dylan DeMelo is the frontrunner to replace David Schlemko, but Tim Heed and Joakim Ryan are coming off of strong seasons in the AHL. Perhaps one of them overtakes DeMelo in training camp.

As for other forwards than those you mentioned, Goodrow could end challenging for a spot on the fourth line. I get plenty of questions about Danny O’Regan, too, and perhaps he makes a push. The issue with O’Regan is that although he’s a skilled player in the minors, he’s probably not quite skilled enough to make up for his small frame at the NHL level. I view him more as a fill-in guy.

Any word on [Barclay] Goodrow and [Marcus] Sorenson? I'm assuming they didn't sign their QO's? (DaveBPilot‏ @DaveBPilot)

Yes, that’s safe to assume, since the deadline was Saturday. They remain RFAs, and negotiations will surely continue.

Still, it’s worth mentioning what happened last year with Matt Nieto. The forward didn’t sign his qualifying offer, as he was pushing for a multi-year deal, and ended up signing for one year for less than he would have made had he accepted the original offer. He was waived and claimed by Colorado.