The San Jose Sharks haven’t made any high-profile moves this offseason, but the free-agency signings of Scott Hannan and Tyler Kennedy have caught the eye of the Twitter world.
Per a report from San Jose Mercury News’ David Pollack, the Sharks announced last Friday that Hannan and Kennedy inked one- and two-year contracts, respectively, with the team. The signings return a former fan favorite to San Jose in Hannan and add needed forward depth and playoff experience in Kennedy.
Sharks fans love Hannan, who was drafted by and played his first eight seasons for San Jose. He also had a short stint with the Sharks in last year’s playoff run. The love has not been lost, as the defenseman has been welcomed back with open arms on the web:
While Kennedy has not played for the Sharks before, he too is seen as a welcome addition and a smart signing by Sharks GM Doug Wilson.
However, it’s not all sunshine for San Jose fans. Twitterer Guillaume Bose acknowledges the Sharks’ front office made good moves, but wants a little roster adjustment out of a team whose Stanley Cup window is almost shut:
These are good signings that keep the roster relatively the same heading into next season. Many considered San Jose’s performance in 2013 underwhelming, so bringing back essentially the same squad should lead to similar expectations of contending in the Western Conference.
With the most of the Sharks’ core showing signs of slowing down, however, Wilson needs to start looking towards a new, future group of stars, led by Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Vezina Trophy Finalist Antti Niemi. Fortunately, he has been doing exactly that.
After next season, the Sharks will have over $32 million in salary cap space once several contracts expire. Players included are members of the original foundation like Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle and Martin Havlat.
That is an unheard of amount of cap room that would allow them to sign and/or trade for quality talent. Notable free agents in the summer of 2014 include Dion Phaneuf, the Sedin twins and Marian Gaborik.
With the chances of reeling in some big-time players next offseason, the Sharks may be tempted to not make any more deals this summer. It allows them to avoid the dreaded “rebuilding” year and instead reload.
It may not be in the fans’ best interests, but it would be the smart move for a franchise transitioning from one nucleus to the next.