San Jose Sharks: NHL Stars the Team Will Pursue This Offseason

Scott Semmler@@ScottSemmler22Analyst IIMay 31, 2012

San Jose Sharks: NHL Stars the Team Will Pursue This Offseason

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    It is set to be a very entertaining and busy summer for the San Jose Sharks.  A less than sturdy head coaching position, a general manager with his job presumably on the line and a team ousted in the first round of the NHL playoffs should be enough to achieve that.

    GM Doug Wilson is at the helm of this summer's festivities, and he is sure to be making some major moves to shake up this franchise and return it to the top of the Western Conference.  If not, it may cost him his job.

    It is for that reason the Sharks will be extremely active this summer.  We should not be expecting moves of the smaller variety either.  Big moves consisting of big-name players should be the trend when things get going this offseason.

    Here are three players the Sharks will at least inquire about this summer.

Rick Nash

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    Rick Nash will be the obvious choice on many teams' radars this summer.  He has made it clear with Columbus that he wants out, and he is just waiting for the right team with the right deal to sway the Blue Jackets into trading him.

    The Sharks would appear to be making Nash their primary target this offseason, although it will take a lot to acquire him.

    Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported in May that Wilson would be making a big push for Nash this summer:

    Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson has been quietly trying to peddle unhappy captain Rick Nash but it’s difficult to find serious interest now. Sources say Sharks GM Doug Wilson, who made a serious pitch in February, is willing to revisit talks after a first-round exit. I’m told Wilson informed the Jackets the Sharks would sweeten the offer in June.

    With other teams, such as the Bruins, reportedly pursuing Nash, we can expect this to be a highly contested fight for one of the best players in the NHL. 

Zach Parise

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    At this point, this is pure speculation, but one of the more anticipated free agents this summer would have to get a look from buyers this offseason.  The Sharks fit that category and Wilson is sure to find his way into the conversation.

    However, the Devils are in the Stanley Cup Finals, but reported contract talks have gone nowhere and New Jersey is planning on working its magic sometime this summer.

    Given a chance to get rich somewhere else, Parise would have to consider it, especially if the Devils fail to win the Stanley Cup this season.

    He signed a one-year, $6 million contract in July 2011.

James Van Riemsdyk

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    Wilson made a play for him just before the trade deadline of this past season, but with nothing to show.  Reports are he offered Antti Niemi in exchange for van Riemsdyk.

    He had 11 goals and 13 assists in just 43 games played in 2011-12.

    However, with a rough stint in the playoffs for van Riemsdyk, the Flyers may be easier to bargain with this time around.  Niemi most likely will not be in the conversation, but the Sharks have plenty of young talent that could fit the Flyers' build.