The San Jose Sharks will enter a pretty big offseason starting on July 1. That would be the day that the NHL free agency period begins, and it will be the first chance the Sharks have at re-signing or departing with the 23 players on their current free agent roster.
This is a free agency that could possibly define this team for the next couple of years, having to decide whether to re-sign or let go several young and promising players. There are also a few veterans in the mix that could potentially alter the chemistry of a proud and competitive franchise.
More or less, the Sharks involvement in the NHL free agency period relies solely on what San Jose decides to do with two of their key free agents.
Those two players are restricted free agent Devin Setoguchi on the offensive end, and unrestricted free agent Ian White on the defensive end.
The Sharks leniency in free agency depends on how the Sharks deal with those two players.
For now, he are some realistic options for San Jose if they choose to embark on the chaos that is NHL Free Agency 2011.
If the Sharks go after a big-name free agent, it is going to be a big name defenseman. And if they go after a big-name defenseman, Brewer would seem to fit within San Jose's price range for a very good defensive player with a decent offensive game.
It may be a bit of a risk for the Sharks, considering Brewer made a legitimate name for himself in the 2011 NHL Playoffs.
Brewer may not reach 40 points next season, but he would be a valuable asset for the Sharks as apart of that defense.
Whether he is a valuable asset worth $5 million next season will be up to the Sharks.
Another Sharks' playoff foe coming to play in San Jose?
Antti Niemi did it. Why can't Bieksa?
Sure, Bieksa is going to take less money and stay in Vancouver, but this is someone the Sharks should really go after because he satisfies every part of the ice the San Jose needs help at.
Bieksa can score, as we saw in the Western Conference Finals, but he is also a decent defender.
Again, he will be giving the Canucks a hometown discount, but that does not mean other teams will not be throwing the house at a defenseman who stepped his game up when it counted most.
The Detroit Red Wings will most certainly be going hard at both Christian Ehrhoff and Bieksa, but expect the Sharks to throw their hat into the pile, as well.
Whether the Sharks, Red Wings or Canucks feel Bieksa is inevitably worth the $5-7 million he is supposedly going to get will be up to them.
Sharks fans should remember Barker from that shutdown defense of the Chicago Blackhawks a year ago.
Now, Barker is a definite possibility in San Jose next season.
Currently, there are rumors about the Minnesota Wild buying out Barker's contract, making him an unrestricted free agent, but that will not occur until they have a coach in place.
Barker is set to make $3 million next season, and if bought out, he would cost $375,000 against the cap next season.
The 25-year-old possesses a hard shot from the point and is especially effective on the power play. His defense in his own zone needs work, but he is a very physical player that the Sharks could use.