Tag: NHL UFA free agents

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.