There is a new veteran forward available ahead of the trade deadline. TSN insider Darren Dreger has revealed on Saturday that the San Jose Sharks have asked forward Joel Ward to submit his six-team no-trade list to management within 24 hours.
Ward will slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, with a cap hit of $3.275 million in the final year of his current contract, in which he has a modified no-trade clause. Though there could be a market for the 37-year-old winger as a rental acquisition, there is one major issue for the Sharks in the return they may get for Ward.
The veteran has been on injured reserve with a shoulder injury and hasn’t played since February 8 in a loss against the Vegas Golden Knights after he absorbed a hard hit from Nate Schmidt in the second period. Although the shoulder remains stiff, Ward said he will not need surgery. The injury will however, certainly affect his trade value. However, he is still considered an effective fourth liner, as he has tallied five goals and six assists in 46 games, averaging just shy of 12 minutes of ice time per game. He is also known to be quite productive in the postseason, recording 22 goals and 52 points in 83 playoff games in his career.
While Ward landing on the trade block has an odd timing, it should not have anything to do with the Sharks' new trade target.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has been playing hard on the market to try and land Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and NHL insider Pierre LeBrun recently revealed in one of his articles in The Athletic that the Nashville Predators are also interesting in landing the Sens captain.
"The Senators spoke to several teams about Erik Karlsson this week, and who knows if he’s traded or not before Monday’s deadline, but I love the fact one of those teams I’m told chatted with them was Nashville. Yes, the Predators. The team with the best top four in the NHL. I can’t see how the Preds could ever swing it so I’d call it a longshot at best, but it just goes to show you that veteran GM David Poile leaves no stone unturned. He probably just wanted to see what’s what. One thing we know about him, he’s not scared to ask, or act."
But, now you better add the Sharks to the list of teams interested in the Senators defenseman... LeBrun added on Saturday that the Sharks have spoken to the Senators about Karlsson.
LeBrun explains that while he isn't sure there is a fit between both clubs for a trade, he isn't surprised by the Sharks going "big game" hunting again.
So, the Sharks are hunting but also looking to move Ward. They will surely be busy ahead of Monday's trade deadline.