San Jose Sharks: Top 5 Players the Sharks Should Target in the Offseason
After the franchise's worst postseason effort in its history, the San Jose Sharks' front office begins their season with the upcoming draft and free-agency period.
Sharks fans have faced a barrage of players coming and going over the last couple of seasons—Dany Heatley, Jed Ortmeyer, Scott Nichol, Manny Malholtra, Jamal Mayers—the list of players that have ported in San Jose for a season or less is quite extensive.
The Sharks' core can easily be seen as captain Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, and even young star center Logan Couture.
With all the players that have come and gone in recent years, there have been some that are considered to be mainstays. Players such as Brent Burns and Martin Havlat, for instance, were added to create long-term depth in the Sharks' arsenal.
But no team is ever perfect, and the Sharks are one that's far from it.
In this edition, I'd like to outline the top five players I feel the Sharks should target during this offseason.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The No. 1 pick in the 2002 NHL Draft was subject to a bit more media attention than he normally gets this season in Columbus.
With the trade deadline approaching, Columbus had announced it was tendering trade offers with their superstar captain as the main bait.
Rick Nash would no doubt be the supreme type of forward the Sharks would need to balance out their scoring, but with a hefty contract that guarantees $7.8 million per year through 2018, it makes the decision more than difficult for current Sharks general manager Doug Wilson.
As long as we're playing armchair GM here, if I'm Doug Wilson, I go for it. On paper, there's no way it wouldn't work out positively for the Sharks.
Rich Lam/Getty Images
Cory Schneider is one of the best young goaltenders in the NHL today.
The only thing better than that is the fact that he is an American.
And when you play for a team who has a goalie that has a locked contract until 2022, you wouldn't expect to be the starter any time soon.
Most Sharks fans are content with Antti Niemi as their goaltender since he already has a Stanley Cup on his resume. I'll give Niemi credit for that, but Cory Schneider would look much better in the cage for the Sharks than Niemi does.
Two words, Doug Wilson: Offer sheet.
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
The 27-year-old captain of the New Jersey Devils would make a great addition to the Sharks' scoring depth in his own right.
The former Hobey Baker finalist has already tendered quite the resume and is just preparing to enter the prime years of his NHL career.
He's represented USA Hockey in both the World Junior Championships, where he was awarded with the most valuable player award of the tournament, and he won a silver medal as part of the Olympic hockey team at the Vancouver games.
Aside from his rookie season and the 2010-11 season when he only played 13 games, Parise has never amassed less than 30 goals in a season.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Shea Weber is a player that would pretty much seal the deal and make the Sharks' defensive core one of the most lethal in hockey.
He's currently under a one-year $7.5 million contract, and the feelings throughout the hockey world were all pretty much mutual in terms of Weber staying in Nashville past this season—that he wouldn't.
He would make a great fit in San Jose and, come playoff time, he'd probably be as much of a celebrity as Giants closer Brian Wilson, as long as he keeps that beard around.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Shane Doan is probably one of the most important players the Sharks should keep their eyes on during the offseason.
The 35-year-old veteran has spent his entire NHL tenure with his current club, the Phoenix Coyotes.
What the Coyotes have done so far this season has been magnificent. They captured their first division championship in franchise history, and made it past the first round of the playoffs for the first time, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks.
But the Coyotes will not win a Stanley Cup. Not this season anyway. And I don't think it will happen during Doan's career.
Doan would make the absolute perfect addition to the Sharks' bottom pair, where most of the team's youth is currently situated.
Not only that, but Doan could immediately take command and captain the Sharks' special teams.
The unrestricted free-agent made just $4.5 million this season, and with any luck the Sharks could probably get him cheaper than that.