The San Jose Sharks cut six players today reducing their roster to 23 just in time for the NHL’s roster deadline. Nikolay Goldobin, Kevin Lebanc, Dan Kelly, Barclay Goodrow, Mirco Mueller and Ryan Carpenter were all sent down to the San Jose Barracuda.
Little Room For New Blood
The Sharks didn’t have much in the way of roster space entering training camp. The additions Mikkel Bødker and David Schlemko combined with Matt Nieto getting a new contract as an RFA and Wingels not being moved as many had expected left basically no room for a rookie to crack the lineup. While players like Kevin Labanc impressed a great number of fans it simply does not make sense to keep him with the big club where he would get no minutes. There are obviously cap considerations as well since placing a guy like Tommy Wingels in the AHL for example, was never an option, he also eats a lot of cap space to have him sitting in the press box. Nikolay Goldobin really made little to no case for himself to be in the NHL this year and was outperformed, by other players in the system. Barclay Goodrow being sent down is puzzling since I feel he can bring everything to the game that Micheal Haley can. Hopefully, this is just to make sure he continues skating at the AHL level. Mirco Mueller has shown some improvement but not enough to be considered an NHL-ready defender. This will be a pivotal season for him with the Barracuda.
The Expected Opening Night Lineup
The lines above are based on today’s practice lines. My issue with the Sharks is that they have been known to overuse specific types of players. In this case, I refer to 13th forwards and 7th defenceman. Dylan DeMelo regularly drawing into the lineup does not bother me at all rotating with the Dillon or Schlemko on the bottom pair. My concern is with Micheal Haley drawing into the lineup more than he should. Let’s be honest he is probably going to draw into the lineup against the Los Angeles Kings and while we may not all agree it’s understandable. However, we have seen players of this ilk stick in the lineup in place of better players. (I’m looking at you, Mike Brown).
When Will It Be #TimoTime
Per Curtis Pashelka. Timo Meier has been designated as an injured non-rostered player by the Sharks as he continues to skate on his as he cannot practice with the team yet. Once he is healthy the Sharks will have to make a decision as to where he will play. The Sharks are very high on Meier who barely didn’t make the team out of camp last season. Currently out with Mononucleosis Meier will likely get a conditioning stint in the AHL before getting a chance to play with the Sharks. If Meier is able to impress upon his return we could see a player pushed to the press box or even the AHL depending on who’s spot he has taken. I wonder if the Sharks would have re-signed a player like Matt Nieto for example only to lose him on the waiver wire, while the Sharks might be content to lose Wingels salary cap on the waiver wire if they can’t find his contract a new home.
It is disappointing not to see some new blood on the roster for many including myself. However, this is still a better lineup than the Sharks iced in the Stanley Cup final last year and while it’s fine to be disappointed that maybe better players are not being utilized we as fans should not lose sight of that fact.