Selling The Sharks – Part 3 – Forwards Continued
The season continues and the playoffs continue to look out of reach for the San Jose Sharks. So too does our series looking at the roster from the perspective of being sellers at the trade deadline. We now continue our look at the remaining forwards on the roster. We continue to look at how movable they are and if in reality they should be moved. All salary cap and trade clause information is courtesy of CapFriendly.
Patrick Marleau (Center, Left Wing)
Cap Hit: $700,000 (Pending unrestricted free agent)
When the puck dropped to start the 2019-20 season, Patrick Marleau was without a team. He was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in the off-season before being bought out of his contract. The fact that he was signed by the San Jose Sharks a few games into the season was an indictment on the forward depth, or lack thereof, on the team.
Teams entering the playoffs will sometimes add a player for veteran leadership. However, with only 8 goals and 8 assists in 43 games, it’s hard to see the demand for Marleau to be high. Marleau has no-trade protection in his current contract so if a team was interested he could be moved. It is more likely that the 40-year-old forward will play out the rest of his current deal, and possibly his career, in teal.
Timo Meier (Right Wing)
Cap Hit: $6 M AAV (2022-23)
Timo Meier is not having a particularly good season. Following a breakout 66 point campaign, the power forward is only on pace for 52 points this season. I would argue that giving up on the 23-year-old would be a massive mistake. Even though his production is down this year, Meier would likely be able to bring back a significant return if Doug Wilson were to shop him around.
In my opinion, the only way that you would move Meier is if you are getting a player of similar pedigree in return. A good example would be the trade that saw Jonathan Drouin traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Mikhail Sergachev. At the time of that trade, the value of both players was sky-high. Meier, much like Hertl, should demand maximum return because anything else could be a franchise-altering mistake.
Stefan Noesen (Right Wing)
Cap Hit: $700,000 (Pending unrestricted free agent)
Claiming Stefan Noesen on waivers has worked out very well for the San Jose Sharks. He has provided stability to the bottom-six after a revolving door of players. The former first-round pick was without an NHL contract until December 2nd of this year. A pending free agent at the end of the season with a small-cap hit makes him an easy player to move. On his own, though the return would likely not justify the loss of stability his absence would be to the team.
Marcus Sorensen (Left Wing)
Cap Hit: $1.5 M (2020-21)
Marcus Sorensen had a breakout year in 2018-19 with 17 goals and 13 assists for a total of 30 points in 80 games. His shooting percentage for that season was an unsustainable 17%. This season he has struggled with only 10 points in 44 games, on pace for 19 points. With a cap hit of $1.5 M that carries over to the 2020-21 season, it is likely that some teams would steer clear of this Sorensen at the deadline.
Antti Suomela (Center)
Cap Hit: $700,000 (Pending restricted free agent with arbitration rights)
Suomela has spent much of the season as the Sharks 13th forward. While he has looked good in his limited action, he has failed to gain traction with the coaching staff. Playing only a small number of games between the NHL and AHL, it’s difficult to assess his trade value. I think you could find a taker for his services but the return would be insignificant. Players like Joel Kellman would also fall into this category.
Joe Thornton (Center)
Cap Hit: $2 M (Pending unrestricted free agent)
Trade Protection: Full No Movement Clause.
Joe Thornton may have been the only player on the Sharks to hedge his bet. The 40-year-old forward has a full no-movement clause on what should have been a playoff team. It is likely that he could get some interest from some teams looking to add a veteran player looking for one last run at the Stanley Cup. Thornton, however, does not seem to be interested in such a move.
To his credit, he has been quoted to still believe the Sharks can make the playoffs this season. I’m not so optimistic and the odds are in my favor. If he was interested in moving though, the Sharks could likely get a mid-round draft pick in return for his services.
The Sharks have had a revolving door of players trying to solidify roles throughout the lineup. It’s hard to imagine that there are many guys who would demand a significant return on their own. However, there are a few guys the Sharks could dangle in an effort to increase a return in a bigger deal.
With 54 points in 36 games, Jonathan Dahlen is having quite the season in the second tier Allsvenskan Swedish league. The question is will he play in North America if it isn’t in the NHL. The pending restricted free agent is one of the Sharks’ best prospects. It will be very interesting to see if the Sharks give the son of former Shark Ulf Dahlen a qualifying offer this summer to retain his rights.
Joachim Blichfeld is one of the Sharks’ better forward prospects. Unfortunately, he has been given very little time on the NHL roster this season. In 27 games with the Barracuda, he has 25 points. Blichfeld should be challenging for a spot on next year’s roster and it’s hard to imagine the Sharks parting ways with him unless the return is significant. Blichfeld could also be moved to escape a bad contract.