The Sharks' biggest need became apparent in their seven-game conference semifinal series against the Kings.
They simply don't score enough goals. The Sharks scored 10 goals in seven games against the Kings, and that's not enough.
Much of that was due to Jonathan Quick's superb performance in goal for the Kings, but a legitimate Stanley Cup contender would have found a way to score more goals.
The Sharks are more than $8 million under the 2013-14 cap number of $64.3 million, so they should be able to sign at least one free agent who can put the puck in the net.
They may want to consider unrestricted free agents Mike Ribeiro (Washington Capitals), Michael Ryder (Montreal Canadiens) and Pascal Dupuis (Pittsburgh Penguins).
Ribeiro is coming off an excellent season in which he scored 13 goals and 36 assists. Ribeiro is an instinctive player who usually has an idea of where the puck will be a split-second before the defender. That allows him to create offensive opportunities for himself and his teammates.
Ryder is a proven sniper in the NHL. He surged after he was traded to the Canadiens by the Dallas Stars. He scored 16 goals in 2013, including 10 with Montreal. Ryder scored 35 goals with the Stars a year ago and has reached the 30-goal threshold three times in his career.
Dupuis has proven to be an opportunistic scorer with the Penguins this year. He scored 20 goals in the regular season and has added seven more in the postseason. While Dupuis benefits from playing with the Penguins because opposing defenses must concentrate on star players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Dupuis will take the hit and sacrifice his body if he sees a scoring opportunity is within reach.