The Sharks are close to finalizing a deal with 26-year-old forward Tyler Kennedy, a pending restricted free agent that was acquired for a second round draft pick at Sunday’s NHL Entry Draft, according to a league source.
Terms of the deal, which is likely to be formally announced by the team on Friday, were not immediately known. Kennedy is likely to get a small raise over his expiring two-year, $4 million deal signed with the Penguins.
Additionally, the Sharks are interested in bringing back pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Scott Hannan. The 34-year-old defenseman was acquired by San Jose from Nashville just prior to the trade deadline, and was scoreless in four regular season games. He played in all 11 playoff games, paired primarily with Brad Stuart, and had four assists and a +1 rating.
Hannan just completed a one-year, $1 million contract, and it’s thought that the Sharks will seek another deal in that range.
The Sharks are also in talks to sign goaltender Alex Stalock, 25, a pending unrestricted free agent. Stalock would likely back up Antti Niemi next season, as the Sharks are not bringing back Thomas Greiss.
Signing Kennedy, Hannan and Stalock would likely put the Sharks right around the $64.3 million salary cap for the 2013-14 season. The club is still carrying Marty Havlat’s $5 million salary and cap hit, and Havlat cannot be placed on long term injured reserve (thereby freeing up cap space) until the start of the NHL’s regular season.
According to CapGeek.com, the Sharks have just $2.64 million in salary cap space, but that includes Matt Tennyson’s $1.175 million. Tennyson, who is still on a two-way, entry-level deal, could begin the season with AHL Worcester.
The NHL’s free agent market opens on Friday. The Sharks are not expected to be active, although they will be able to officially announce Logan Couture’s five-year, $30 million contract extension.