No doubt about it, it’s been a disappointing offseason for San Jose Sharks fans. Sure, the Sharks added Evander Kane on a long-term deal and they managed to lock up Logan Couture and bring back fan favorite Joe Thornton for another season. But, they missed out on superstar John Tavares despite being considered a frontrunner to nab him in free agency and GM Doug Wilson has seemingly struck out with every other available free agent on the market. Paul Stastny? Gone. James Neal? Nope. Patrick Maroon? History.
It’s slim pickings for Wilson and the Sharks right now, unless you believe the reports that the team is getting more aggressive on the trade front. Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson has been linked to the Sharks, as had Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty. Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes have also been linked to the Sharks in multiple trade reports.
According to a report from Sharks insider Kevin Kurz of The Athletic, the Sharks’ signing of defensman Dylan Demelo, combined with a Karlsson or Faulk acquisition, could spell the end of things for 27 year old Tim Heed in San Jose.
Something I could see the Sharks doing now that Dylan DeMelo is back is moving Tim Heed. I’ve said this before, but if I’m Heed - a pending UFA next summer - I’d rather go somewhere we’re I’m going to get the chance to play regular minutes rather than be the 7th guy.
The 27 year old Swede put up an impressive three goals and 11 points in just 29 games with the Sharks last season and could be a valuable pick up for a team looking for some skill on the blue line. While he’s unlikely to fetch much of a return, the Sharks could inch their available cap space up to as much as $8 million by moving Heed in a player for pick type trade.
This would enable the Sharks to go out and pick up Karlsson, Pacioretty, Skinner, Faulk or really whomever they choose without needing to move around salary to facilitate a deal. If there’s one thing that we’ve seen Wilson do a good job of in recent years, it’s utilizing his team’s financial flexibility to make smart moves. Rarely do you ever see the Sharks in a tough financial bind. They recently bought out veteran Paul Martin, but that was just as much a move to give Martin another shot at the NHL, as it was to free themselves of his contract.
Regardless of what happens with Heed, the Sharks will be an interesting team to watch the rest of the 2018 offseason.