Editor's note: This article is part of an ongoing series in which Insider Kevin Kurz will highlight a different Sharks player every day leading up to the start of NHL training camp.
Name/Position: Adam Burish, right wing
Salary: $1.85 million
Contract status: Signed through 2015-16 ($1.85 million cap hit)
2013-14 year in review: Last season was a nightmare for Adam Burish. The forward suffered a back injury that required surgery in the team’s very first preseason game, resulting in him missing the first 57 games. He didn’t make his season debut until Feb. 5. Then, he missed the final eight games and all of the playoffs with two broken fingers in his left hand suffered while blocking a shot. He finished scoreless with six penalty minutes in just 15 games.
2014-15 outlook: Simply put, Burish’s spot on the Sharks’ roster this season could be in jeopardy, even with Raffi Torres out again long term. San Jose has an abundance of fourth line players, including Mike Brown, who was re-signed to a two-year deal over the summer, and free agent acquisition John Scott.
[RELATED: Torres out long-term again for Sharks]
It’s even more difficult to see how Burish fits in when you consider the Sharks’ stated goal of getting younger. Burish, Brown and Andrew Desjardins had some effective games immediately after Burish’s return in early February, but that’s not exactly a young line. If the Sharks want to get fresh-faced players like Freddie Hamilton and Eriah Hayes more NHL ice time to see if they belong in the league, the fourth line is probably the best place to do that. Burish probably realizes that, too, and you can be sure that he'll put maximum effort into training camp, as that's just the kind of worker bee that he is.
Still, halfway through his four-year contract at an inflated salary, Burish looks like one of general manager Doug Wilson’s more regrettable decisions in recent memory. Burish isn't completely to blame for that, as he’s battled several hard-luck injuries since coming to San Jose, but it may be time for the Sharks to somehow move on from the 31-year-old either by waiving him or trying to trade him while retaining part of his salary. The latter could prove to be difficult, because there probably isn’t much of a market for the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder that is coming off of an injury-plagued season.