The San Jose Sharks made many moves in the offseason that changed the team for the better. Additions include Martin Havlat, Brent Burns, Michael Handzus, James Sheppard, Jim Vandermeer and Colin White. Subtractions were Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi, Kyle Wellwood, Scott Nichol, Kent Huskins, Charlie Coyle and Ian White.
Some of these additions help set up what could be the year that the Sharks can finally bring the Stanley Cup to the Bay Area.
With the additions of Burns, Vandermeer and White, the Sharks have one of the best, if not the best, blue lines in the league now.
The Sharks finally have more offensive potential from the blue line with the addition of Burns, who has a dynamite shot. He and Dan Boyle may play on separate pairings, but they'll quarterback the power play. That means that Pavelski will get to play a forward role on the power play.
The offense will also show with the Sharks now being able to have offensive defenseman on two separate pairings—Boyle on the first and Burns on the second. Having Burns on the second pairing will also help relieve Boyle of some minutes, so he'll be fresh when the playoffs roll around.
Jim Vandermeer and Colin White are two big, bruising defenseman who will block many shots for the Sharks, which well help very much in improving their defense. Defense was one of the weak points of the Sharks the last few seasons. Defensive miscues hurt the Sharks often in the playoffs.
Having veteran defensemen on the blue line will help young defenseman Jason Demers mature and be a better player.
Michael Handzus is a good center who can score his fair share of goals, but he excels in blocking shots, which further bolsters the Sharks defense. He's a great penalty killer as well.
Acquiring Martin Havlat will be huge for the Sharks. He brings an element of speed that helps replace, and even surpass, Setoguchi's and adds speed to another line.
Having Patrick Marleau and his blazing speed on the first line, playing with excellent passer Joe Thornton and promising forward Joe Pavelski, makes one of the best top lines in the league.
The Sharks second line will also be a line that many teams would love to have as their top line. It will most likely be Ryane Clowe, Logan Couture and Martin Havlat—all players capable of scoring around 25 goals.
Logan Couture had an amazing rookie season last year, scoring 32 goals, and is looking to improve. Having Havlat and Clowe as linemates should help him raise his overall points total, as all three will feed off each other.
The Sharks top two lines will be putting up a ton of points this season.
Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki make up a very solid goaltending duo, and both will have a much better defensive unit in front of them.
With goal scorers like Boyle and Burns, and bruisers like White, Douglas Murray and Vandermeer, the solid tandem won't be giving up too many goals this season.
With one of the best offenses, defenses and goaltending pairs in the league, the Sharks are full of depth and talent. Their chances of winning the Cup this year are amazing and probably the best they've ever had.
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