Although the San Jose Sharks were not expected to dominate the NHL, their first quarter of the season was far from satisfactory. Despite hot starts from players like Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, and Logan Couture, wins have been difficult to come by. After 26 games the Sharks sit at seventh in the pacific division with a record of 8-14-4. San Jose’s struggles over the last two years have continued into the 2022-23 season, which begs the question, what moves should the Sharks be making going forward?
After years of continued success over the past decade, including many deep playoff runs and even a Stanley Cup appearance, it seems that the Sharks have arrived at the point of inevitable rebuild. It’s natural for the success of NHL teams to fluctuate and all fans have gone through periods of struggle.
The Sharks have already taken steps to move forward as a franchise, including bringing in new GM Mike Grier, as well as new head coach David Quinn. These changes in the front office and behind the bench are just the beginning of what seems like major change throughout the organization.
With the Sharks on track to miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year, it’s clear that changes need to also be made on the ice. The rest of the NHL will no doubt be interested in a few of the Sharks players come the trade deadline. The Sharks, who at this time should probably be acquiring prospects and draft picks in order to build for the future, have to make the tough decision of who to ship out.
Erik Karlsson, among others, is a likely trade candidate. He has been red hot throughout the first quarter of the season tallying 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points in 26 games. It seems as if EK65 has turned back the clock and is on pace to have his most prolific offensive season yet. Surely some teams around the NHL could use this dynamic defender and his notable offensive contributions from the blue line. At a cap hit of 11.5 million dollars for eight years Karlsson’s contract will not be easy to unload, but clearing a chunk of money like that would be extremely beneficial to the future of San Jose.
Other trade candidates include Timo Meier as well as captain Logan Couture. Timo Meier sits at 23 points in 26 games with 12 goals and 11 assists, while Couture has also accumulated 23 points in 26 games with 13 goals and 10 assists. Timo Meier, who is on a very team friendly contract, will most likely fetch the attention of many contenders. Couture, who has proved to be extremely effective in the playoffs, could also draw a lot of interest from playoff contenders come the trade deadline.
With the Sharks moving closer and closer to entering a full on rebuild, we will most likely see some long time San Jose players shipped out before the trade deadline. The Sharks would be wise to begin accumulating draft picks and prospects if they plan to one day return to the playoffs.