Over 60 hours into free agency, there had been little activity from the San Jose Sharks.
Two players signed and four lost. And they had just 23 players with even a full game of NHL experience under contract.
Once they fill out the roster with all of those players, they would have had just over $1.4 million in cap space. They also had a mediocre-at-best third line and an all-rookie fourth line.
Worse, they had a dearth of depth if they ran into injuries. Not one player behind the top-23 was presumed ready to step up, and a full line of those 23 (three forwards and two on the blueline) have 61 games of NHL experience between them.
So on Sunday night, they made another blockbuster trade that created more cap space (see link for more) so they could fill out their roster.
With $2.5 million in extra room, they now have $4 million-plus to work with. Considering whoever they sign will replace someone on the roster, San Jose could spend $5 million or more.
In other words, no one remaining is out of reach. Because an earlier article advocated replacing Antero Niittymaki with a cheaper alternative (perhaps no longer necessary), this piece will focus on moves designed to help improve skating talent.
Note: They are listed in order of highest to lowest cap hit in 2010-11, not best to worst option. Each slide has a limit on how much they are worth to the Sharks.