Monday, August 15, 2011

San Jose Sharks: Moves They Still Need To Make Before the Season Starts

The San Jose Sharks have made a flurry of moves this past offseason. They have really changed the dynamic of this team and kept them in contention for the next several years.

To recap: The Sharks traded Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley to the Minnesota Wild for Brent Burns and Martin Havlat in two separate deals. Also, San Jose acquired Jim Vandermeer and Colin White to help bolster the defense, and they acquired Andrew Murray, James Sheppard and Michal Handzus to fill the open spaces in the third and fourth lines.

However, what the Sharks currently lack is depth.

Murray and Sheppard are great pick-ups, but how much can they contribute to a high-octane offense, such as San Jose?

It is for that reason that the Sharks still have work to do in the free agent department.

Here are definite options for the Sharks before training camp starts up.

2. The San Jose Should Re-Sign Kyle Wellwood

Kyle Wellwood is still on the free agent market, and he can still contribute to the Sharks this next season.

However, if GM Doug Wilson was going to re-sign the forward, it would seem that he would have done it a long time ago. The more days tick away, the less likely this deal seems.

Wellwood contributed a lot to this team last season, especially during the playoffs. He had seven points, including a +/- of six during the playoffs.

Andrew Murray was a nice pick-up by the Sharks, but is he really going to be fourth line center this season?

He had just eight points last season as a part of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Wellwood at least knows this team and has at least a smidgen of chemistry with the rest of the fourth line, which looks like it will be a mixture of Andrew Desjardins, James Sheppard, Benn Ferriero and Andrew Murray.

Whether Wilson is just keeping Wellwood in his back pocket until the season starts or even until mid-season, San Jose needs to act before he is gone.

The worry here is that the Sharks' lack of depth will become a problem come mid-season, and continue to hurt them come the playoffs.

With the amount of experience Wellwood has with this team in the most crucial times, he would be a solid pick-up for Wilson and the Sharks.

1. The San Jose Sharks Need A Veteran Winger

Piggy-backing on the same thought that was noted in the first slide, the Sharks' weakness at the moment is their depth on offense.

The good thing is that several capable solutions still remain in the free agent pool, and there is little doubt that GM Doug Wilson will pass those up.

The Sharks need a veteran winger to help both in the locker room as well as on the ice with some of the younger players on the team.

It is true, they do have veteran Michal Handzus to help with youngsters Jamie McGinn and Torrey Mitchell, but there is something to be said for a third or fourth line veteran that can still produce a good amount of points.

Three available players that fill that description are John Madden, Chris Drury and J.P. Dumont.

The Sharks must act quickly if they want to nab them, though.

The best fit for the Sharks is Dumont. Just two seasons ago, the 33-year-old put up 65 points for the Predators.

After a down season in 2010-11, he would be able rejuvenate his stats with the Sharks' talented offense.

Whether he will play on the third or fourth line is up to coach Todd McLellan, but odds are he produces a whole lot more than what San Jose currently has on either of those lines.

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