The proverbial window of opportunity closing on the San Jose Sharks is a common misconception you hear from hockey experts, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Joe Thornton may have enjoyed his finest season as a pro, and playing with a separated shoulder in the playoffs cemented his place as captain of the Sharks. Patrick Marleau continued to show why he’s as dangerous as anybody in the playoffs, leading the way with multiple key goals. The future looks bright with players like Logan Couture, Ryane Clowe, Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi and Jason Demers all taking big steps in the postseason.
The Sharks trail only the Detroit Red Wings in winning percentage for the last seven years, and their core is entering their prime and ready to maintain their success.
Still though, there are some serious questions to be asked in the offseason for Sharks GM Doug Wilson. With seven unrestricted free agents and several key restricted ones, the Sharks could look very different next season.
While the 2010-11 season certainly wasn’t a disappointment, the team needs some upgrading in key areas to take the next step. Wilson must manage his decisions wisely and make use of the increased salary cap that will land between $60.5m and $63.5m, as reported by Forbes.com.
Let’s take a look at the free agents currently on the roster and possible free agent targets the San Jose Sharks could sign in order to take the next step towards the Stanley Cup.
This is part one of the three-part series previewing the Sharks offseason, so let’s get started.
All data used in this article are referenced from capgeek.com and behindthenet.ca.