According to San Jose Mercury News writer Curtis Pashelka the San Jose Sharks have signed 37 year old forward Dainius Zubrus to a one year, two way contract.
Zubrus has a one-year, two-way deal w/#SJSharks. He was on plane to SJ, & Goldobin’s in Charlotte w/Cuda, figure 9’s at practice today
— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) November 24, 2015
Zubrus is a 17 year NHL veteran player who last played for the New Jersey Devils during the 2014-15 season. He was signed to a Professional Try Out (PTO) recently at the request of Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer who had coached him since the 2011 season in New Jersey. Over the course of his career Zubrus has played 1,243 NHL games where he has recorded 225 goals and 359 assists for 584 points. In 92 playoff games he has recorded 11 goals and 25 assists for 35 points, ten of which came in the Devils failed Stanley Cup bid in 2011-12 (3 goals and 7 assists). The dollar amount of the contract is not yet known. To make room on the roster the Sharks have returned top AHL prospect Nikolay Goldobin to the San Jose Barracuda.
The Sharks bottom six woes have been well documented this season and this should help with that issue. Signing Zubrus gives the Sharks a lot of options when it comes to correcting the issues in the bottom six ranging from lessening the needs for AHL journeymen like Bryan Lerg, Micheal Haley and John McCarthy to using regulars like Mike Brown less frequently. I think this is a good signing for the Sharks and my only concern is that it will block someone like Barclay Goodrow from returning to the Sharks lineup. A veteran NHL presence should help Chris Tierney who is struggling with confidence issues right now to re-find his game. Could Matt Nieto find a home on the 4th line with Zubrus and Tierney?
Most importantly though, when Logan Couture finally returns from injury this should allow DeBoer to roll four lines like the Sharks had been able to do at the beginning of the season which will take some heavier minutes away from the top three lines in a third period of games. Shark fans should like this move unless they are expecting it to lead to a pile of goals or are just mad that he is not a sixth defenceman.