San Jose Sharks: 7 Sharks That Would Be Good Offseason Trade Chips

Eric HeContributor IIMay 7, 2012

San Jose Sharks: 7 Sharks That Would Be Good Offseason Trade Chips

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    The San Jose Sharks are coming off a very disappointing season, which was filled with injuries, losing streaks, trade rumors and culminated in a 4-1 playoff series loss to the St. Louis Blues in the fist round.

    David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the Sharks will look to undergo a big change in their roster this offseason, whether it is through trades or free-agent signings. 

    With that being said, any player not named Thornton or Couture will be on the trading block this summer. 

    Here is a look at seven players who will be good offseason trade chips.

Patrick Marleau

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    Before I start bombarding him, I just want to say how much I admire Patrick Marleau both as a hockey player and as a person.

    Marleau is a player who just goes out there and does his job, which is to use his speed to get behind the defense and score goals. He's scored 387 goals in his career doing just that.

    He has also been incredibly loyal, remaining with the team since 1997. 

    However, I think it is best that he and the Sharks finally part ways.

    Marleau has been one of the Sharks' centerpieces throughout his entire career, yet he has failed to help bring a championship to San Jose.

    This postseason might have been the final straw. Despite scoring 30 goals in the regular season, Marleau did not record a single point in the playoffs. 

    He has been criticized in the past (most notably by former teammate Jeremy Roenick) for his lack of toughness and emotions on the ice. 

    I believe that GM Doug Wilson will explore possible trades with Marleau involved. Some teams have to be interested in a guy who has scored double digits in goals every season in his career, and Wilson will get a solid player(s) in return.

Martin Havlat

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    I don't think the Sharks will get much in return for Martin Havlat, so they might package him along with other players.

    Havlat's first season with the Sharks was mediocre at best. He had easily the worst season of his career, tormented by injuries and inconsistency. 

    Look for Havlat to be included in a possible package deal, if he is to be traded at all. 

Ryane Clowe/Joe Pavelski

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    The reason that Ryane Clowe and Joe Pavelski are together is because they will only be traded if it is for Rick Nash. 

    The Sharks were considered to be in the running for Nash at the trade deadline, but they did not pull the trigger on a deal because the Blue Jackets wanted young phenom Logan Couture.

    Now, with a full offseason to discuss possible trades, Doug Wilson has a lot of time to persuade Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson to give up his prized superstar Rick Nash.

    If they somehow pull it off, the Sharks will have to give up either Pavelski or Clowe, or maybe even both.

    But for a player like Rick Nash, it's more than worth it.

Antti Niemi

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    Here is another player who could be involved in a Rick Nash deal. 

    Antti Niemi, the Sharks' goaltender, was superb in the regular season, single-handedly winning games for San Jose.

    But in the playoffs, he was clearly fatigued, letting in several "soft" goals that he would have liked to have back.

    CSN's Kevin Kurz brought up the proposition that Niemi could be traded to Columbus, who is looking for a new goaltender to replace the struggling Steve Mason.

    Plus, the Sharks have several young goaltenders more than capable of replacing Niemi. Backup Thomas Greiss and top prospect Alex Stalock could easily slide over into starting roles. 

    I could foresee a Niemi/Pavelski or Clowe/Jason Demers trade for Rick Nash.

Dan Boyle

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    About midway through the season, I wrote this article about how the Sharks needed to trade Dan Boyle.

    Here are some of the talking the points from that article:

    -Boyle is 35 years old, oldest on the Sharks' roster.

    -He has shown significant decline, with his point total decreasing each of his last four seasons.

    -His biggest "strength," which is skating with the puck from end-to-end, has been taken away because teams bunch up the neutral zone.

    -He is signed through 2014 for $7 million a year, which is way too much and too long for an aging veteran.

    Boyle will have good value in a potential blockbuster deal, or the Sharks might even trade him for some prospects and draft picks, since their minor league system is pretty much depleted. 

Douglas Murray

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    David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News brings up an interesting point regarding Douglas Murray:

    The wear and tear of being a beast on the blue line might have taken its toll on Douglas Murray. At 32 and fighting injuries, his hits were down and he seemed a step slower and unable at times to keep up with the speed of today's NHL. The Sharks do need his physical presence but could look elsewhere for it.

    Pollak might be on to something. During the 2009-2010 season, Murray had 233 hits. The following year, he had 203 and just 126 hits this year.

    Murray was a solid, tough defenseman three years ago, but now it seems like the game has grown too fast for him.

    Like most of the other players mentioned, Murray might be included in a package deal, or just shipped for prospects or draft picks.