Tag: Joe Pavelski

The San Jose Sharks Should NOT Sign Erik Karlsson Long-Term

You have read the title correctly. The Sharks are in deed in no need of Erik Karlsson. And before you start dismantling this article and being a butt-hurt fan, or knee jerk reaction Sharks or Karlsson fan. Think about if for a second.

Are you ready for the article now?

Let’s get into this now. The Sharks traded for Karlsson this off-season as their big off-season acquisition and it was assumed that they were going to be Stanley Cup favorites and that Karlsson made them that MUCH better.

Which is completely understandable. Erik Karlsson is a Norris trophy winner and elite defenseman, pair him with Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brendan Dillon, Joakim Ryan and you have yourself a solid d-core. Just Burns and Karlsson alone would make for a solid 1-2 punch.

Right now the Sharks are sitting 2nd in the Pacific division with 94 points, five points behind the Flames. They are 2nd in the Western Conference and 4th in the NHL. They have had a successful season without a doubt.

BUT, the Sharks have allowed 230 goals for this season (still eight games left) the most (tied with Washington) among any playoff team. Along with 3.11 goals against per game. The Sharks have not been a great team defensively and that comes with having a defensive core that is heavily offensive minded in Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson, Tim Heed, Joakim Ryan. Which is not a bad thing but the point of this article is to dispute the fact the Sharks need Erik Karlsson long-term.

The Sharks do not need Erik Karlsson long-term by any measure. I myself as well as you should believe that Erik Karlsson does not makes this Sharks team that much better and a future Stanley Cup team.

The Sharks success this season has come off the back of their offense. They have five 25+ goal scorers, two 15+ goal scorers, seven 49+ point scorers and eleven players with 20+ assists on the year. Without this offense the Sharks are no where as good as they have been this year. Their defense has not been any, not one bit of a reason they are successful this season and a top-5 NHL team it has come off the backs of players like Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture, Evander Kane, Kevin Lebanc, Timo Meier, and Joonas Donskoi all having amazing offensive seasons. Players like Meier, Donskoi, Hertl and Lebanc well exceeding expectations this season, Pavelski scoring 30+ goals again and Burns being the lead man all year.

The Sharks sit third in goals for (263), 3rd in goals for per game (3.55), 6th in power play percentage (23.8), 4th in shots on goal per game (33.4)

Not once have I mentioned Erik Karlsson in that success because he has 42 assists and 45 points on the year, of those 45 points, 20 of them came on the power play leaving him with 25 five on five points. And I do understand that yes while it may come on the power play his majority of points. A lot of other defenseman for A LOT cheaper can get you 20 power play points a season. Is a 9.5 million dollar a year defenseman really worth just power play points? No. Matt Dumba gets 6 million a year and can do the same thing on the power play. Roman Josi gets paid 4 million a year and can do everything Karlsson does. Torey Krug gets 5.25 million a year and is a power play machine. My point is you do not need to pay someone that much money for power play purposes. Be realistic people…

Karlsson has played in only 42 games and it is apparent to anyone with half a brain that Karlsson’s injury that he induced during the Stanley Cup run in 2016-17 is clearly still affecting him and his health is a major question.

Therefore with the success the Sharks have had without Karlsson, seeing Meier, Lebanc, Donskoi and Hertl have great seasons along with the potential of Marcus Sorensen is it smart for the Sharks to invest around 57-70 million dollars in Erik Karlsson? Probably not.

Joe Pavelski contract needs to be renewed, Joe Thornton if he continues needs a contract, Joonas Donskoi, Timo Meier need contracts, Tim Heed and Joakim Ryan need contracts. Justin Braun, Brenden Dillon need contracts at the end of the 2019-2020 season. Are the Sharks really going to risk the long-term success of their franchise for one player who played 42 regular season games, did not bring much or anything at all to the table and realistically does not guarantee this team a cup now or in the coming years.

I’d hope Sharks management can see the big picture here and look at this realistically. Especially with the play of Brent Burns being as good as it has been and also only being paid 8 million a year to be the top-scoring defenseman in the league for the last three or so years…

The Sharks have a number one and two defenseman in Brent Burns. And it clearly shows that you can stack your blue line all you want but without solid goal tending and consistent offense you are not going to win a championship(Nashville). Look at the Penguins d-core in their cup runs, Washington’s last season?

It is evident to me that the Sharks do not need Erik Karlsson. Burns does a fine job sailing the ship. Plus investing a lot of money into Karlsson with his injury concerns and cap-room issues it would cause the Sharks. The Sharks would be better off letting him walk and adding more scoring and better plug-in players on their back end.

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Top-15 UFA Players This 2019 NHL Off-Season

This has to be one of the better UFA off-season’s upcoming. There are a ton of solid players along with a handful of superstar UFA’s this off-season. Just for clarification a UFA means unrestricted free-agent. Meaning that any team can offer them a contract where as a RFA is restricted and their current team gets first bid then if they decline their is a period where the player is available to any team.

1. Erik Karlsson: San Jose Sharks have a very difficult choice, let their captain Joe Pavelski go or re-sign Erik Karlsson… Karlsson is 28-years-old coming off a 6.5 million dollar cap hit, probably looking for 9.5-10.5 million.

2. Artemi Panarin: A BIG conversation surrounding this play-making star. Panarin is looking for around 9 million I’d assume and if the Blue Jackets do shed Sergei Bobrovsky, Panarin may return to Columbus.

3. Jeff Skinner: At only 5.75 million a year Skinner is producing like a 8.5+ million type player right now. Skinner has 29 goals and 42 points in 43 games this season. It will be a BIG topic for Buffalo on what to do with Skinner come the deadline/free agency.

4. Matt Duchene: The 27-year-old forward has been unbelievable this season. Due to his speed, goal-scoring, play-making ability, Duchene will be a highly sought after forward. He has 42 points in 37 games this season (18G, 24A).

5. Mark Stone: Another Senator, Stone is probably going to be making the same he is now just a long term deal. It seems likely he will stay with Ottawa though, depending on Duchene.

6. Joe Pavelski: The 33-year-old veteran forward seems like he is not aging with currently 25 goals and 38 points in 46 games. Pavelski will probably cost 7-7.5 million a year.

7. Sergei Bobrovsky: This is based on Panarin really but I think we see Bob walk from Columbus after this season or possibly soon. Either way whoever gets Bob will need to sign him to a 4-5 year deal for 7 million a year.

8. Jordan Eberle: Eberle did produce 59 points (25G, 34A) in 81 games last season and currently has 19 points (9G, 10A) in 38 games this season. Eberle will cost around 6 million per year, also looking for a long term deal.

9. Jacob Trouba: At 24-years-old, a righty defenseman, a proven top-four defenseman the Jets will have to re-address this situation one more time now. Trouba is on a 5.5 million dollar deal and will look for as much as he can get honestly.

10. William Karlsson: At 5.25 million the Vegas tested Karlsson to see if he could do what he did last year one more time and see if he was worth a big contract. Well, Karlsson has 15 goals and 15 assists in 47 games. He will probably end with around 28 goals this season which may reduce his contract amount but he will see a long term deal.

11. Semyon Varlamov: At 30-years-old this seems to be the age that makes or breaks goaltenders. A lot of teams could use a number one and the Avalanche have to sign a lot of players off their entry level contracts and Mikko Rantanen, what will happen with Varlamov is unknown.

12. Tyler Myers: A big right handed, top-four defenseman is very valuable in this league. The Jets have to choose between Myers or Trouba really.

13. Kevin Hayes: Likely a trade target for many teams this deadline and it is said the Rangers are looking to move him before the deadline but Hayes is making his case for 6 million a year at 5-6 years with 33 points in 39 games this season.

14. Gustav Nyquist: The Red Wings will most likely trade or let Nyquist walk this off-season but to a contending team Nyquist is a valuable experienced, play-making forward. He has 37 points in 45 games this season.

15. Brock Nelson & Anders Lee: Most likely both are going to stay with the Islanders but Nelson is a pure-goal scorer, plays a lot like the other person on this list, Anders Lee. Both of them have a knack for the front of the net. Nelson has 29 points in 42 games this season and Lee has 33 points in 42 games. Combined these two will cost the Islanders around 12.5 million a year.

 

Fantasy Hockey Players Of The Week (Nov.12-18); Atkinson earns #1 spot, Kreider sneaks on the list.. and more!

Cam Atkinson: Well, welcome Cam. It seems as if when this guy went down he disappeared, but this is a huge week for Cam and the Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets have stormed into first place in the Metropolitan division with five wins in their last six games. And a lot of that came off the stick of Cam Atkinson and his 8 points this week. Atkinson scored a hattrick in Columbus’s last win over Carolina and has scored in the last four games. On the week he scored 5 goals with 3 assists and 2 power play points. Here he comes. 

Chris Kreider: A player that is available in 40% of leagues by the way. Kreider and the Rangers have been off to a surprising start. Kreider scored 3 goals with 3 assists this week in the Rangers two of three wins this week. Kreider now has 11 goals and 7 assists on the year. For you information he plays four times this week…

Matt Dumba: The defenseman getting involved, Dumba had 3 goals on the week with 2 assists and 19 shots on goal. Dumba is a sure over looked defenseman that does not get enough credit for what he does. Tallying 5 points this week and 23+ minutes a game Dumba is quickly becoming one of the top d-men in the league. He now has 8 goals and 5 assists on the year. 

Mitch Marner: On the Leafs West Coast sweep and with Auston Matthews out, Marner stepped up big time this week. In the Leafs three wins this he had a point in every game. Marner totaled 1 goal and 5 assists on the week bringing his total to already 20 assists on the year and 6 goals. Marner is on pace for 80+ assists. 

Joe Pavelski: The guy is back and in the hunt for the Rocket Richard now. Pavelski does not do a ton of helping on goals, but he does his fair share of burying the biscuit. Pavelski has 13 goals on the year and 3 assists. The Sharks two wins this week Pavelski had a 2 goals in both of them and in their one loss he scored also. Pavelski had 5 goals and 1 assist on the week. The Sharks can see another 35+ goal year form Pavelski for the first time in 2.5 years. 

Best NHL plays of Tuesday night; Sharks win over Nashville, Red Wings first two-goals, Oilers win over Montreal

This was a pretty exciting night, some upsets, some high scoring games and some games we all expected. This will be a new edition, and this does not mean “top plays” as in top goals, or passes it means the top plays as in what lead to the goal. I will break down about 3-4 games and highlight how that goal happened and the important aspect/teaching point. 

Game 1: Predators vs Sharks; 5-4 Sharks won. This was a crazy game from start to finish. The Sharks opened up with three first period goals and the Predators score 4 unanswered goals after that. The one play I will be highlighting is the fourth goal for the Predators and Sharks. The 4th goal for Nashville came off the stick of Rocco Grimaldi, all he did was outwork the defense man get inside position on him and bury his chance. Hard work, desire for the puck, is all you need to be successful. Fourth goal for San Jose came off the stick of Joe Pavelski but the play started with Joe Thornton taking a hit to make a play, Burns filling in, making a questionable pass, Sharks forward staying with the puck and instead of Pavelski going hard to the net he stays in the soft area in the high slot, bangs it home. 

Game 2: Canadiens vs Oilers; Oilers won 5-2. I am going to highlight two Oilers goals here and their first two, for one reason puck movement and simplicity. You probably here time and time again, do not force passes and use the perimeter, open the ice and get the defense man to open up and move. The Oilers did exactly that on their first goal. It started with a good fore check/terrible play by Canadiens defenseman. #91 for the Oilers came in hard forced a turnover, held it for a second, created space, Draisaitl popped behind the net, McDavid slid to the hash marks on the other side of the goal, Benning foot inside the blue in the middle of the ice, it was bang-bang, #91 to Draisaitl to McDavid to Benning for a goal. Simple, open the ice and create space. Goal #2 for the Oilers is my favorite, McDavid is so good at this, not forcing anything to the middle staying wide and creating offense that way. A lot of kids and players nowadays like to come down on a defenseman and go to the middle thinking they will beat him that way, all defenseman are programmed to push you wide and ride you into the boards, McDavid does exactly that, goes wide and uses his speed to blow by the hit. All young players out there, you have a slower defenseman on the ice, use your speed and go wide, just like McDavid’s play and the Oilers second goal. 

Game 3: Coyotes vs Red Wings: Red Wings won 5-1. This was a game the Coyotes probably expected to win. They have been playing pretty decent hockey this season, a lot better than years past but the Red Wings scored three quick goals and it was game from there. The Red Wings first two goals will be highlighted though. The Red Wings first goal is like a dream come true watching it, it was so slick and perfect. Pass from the defenseman to the forward swinging through the neutral zone, one touch pass to the supporting forward there with him, back to the forward with speed up ice and the Red Wings Anthony Mantha, used his speed, pushed the defenseman back, Frans Neilsen, forward two pushes the defenseman back to the goal, leaving Mantha on a 1 v 1 vs a forward, all he does is keep his feet moving, shooting off his stride cross the body of the goalie. Goal #2 is a coaches dream, Red Wings on the power play, puck gets moved from the right side to the left side, shot from the point Justin Abdelkader slides right in front of the net, takes the goalies eyes away and shot beats the goalie clean. Red Wings up 2-0. Watch up until 2:00 minutes to see the highlights.