San Jose Sharks: 5 Trade Scenarios That Would Benefit the Team

Michael DeSantis@@dtrain2495Senior Analyst IDecember 20, 2011

San Jose Sharks: 5 Trade Scenarios That Would Benefit the Team

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    Thirty games into the 2011-2012 NHL season, the San Jose Sharks hold a 17-10-3 record. As of now, they are leading the Pacific Division, and everything seems to be going all right.

    That's not to say the Sharks haven't had their problems. San Jose has been somewhat inconsistent so far this season. They started off cold, then got hot. After another recent cold streak, the Sharks look ready to get back on a winning pace.

    However, the Sharks' special teams have been dreadful. Honestly, the Sharks won't capture a top seed in the Western Conference or make it very far in the playoffs if these special teams issues and inconsistency problems aren't fixed.

    The Sharks have one of the worst—if not the worst—penalty kills in the league. Although their power-play unit got off to a good start, they've been floundering lately.

    The Sharks need some more shut-down defensemen and penalty-kill forwards to assist Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton.

    Here are five trades that could benefit the Sharks going forward this season.

1. Thomas Greiss for Samuel Pahlsson and Fedor Tyutin

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    Notice that I said Thomas Greiss—not Antero Niittymaki. Teams may want to steer clear of Niittymaki, as he is prone to injury. However, the Sharks could get some pretty nice value back for the younger Greiss.

    Antti Niemi is still fairly young, at 28, so he'll be around for years to come.

    Greiss, who is 25, might be happy to get out of San Jose, as he doesn't get a lot of playing time when both Niemi and Niittymaki are healthy.

    The Columbus Blue Jackets would love to have Greiss. Steve Mason was a flash in the pan, and their best goalie is Curtis Sanford. Greiss would really help the Blue Jackets, and wouldn't be missed too badly by the Sharks.

    Some fans may not want to trade Greiss, but Niittymaki is close to returning and will be a reliable backup to Niemi.

    Pahlsson would be a great fourth-line center for the Sharks. He provides leadership, is a great faceoff winner and is solid on the penalty kill. Those are some of the areas in which the Sharks need improvement. Having another Michal Handzus-like player on the team would help.

    Fedor Tyutin is still in his prime, at the age of 28. The Sharks need a spark on the blue line, and Tyutin would fit the bill. He has an alright minus-four rating, but that's with an anemic Blue Jackets squad.

    Tyutin has reached the 20-point mark in five of his six seasons, and has scored 30 points twice in his career. He already has 16 this year in just 33 games.

2. Torrey Mitchell and Jason Demers for Rene Bourque

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    Geez, Rene Bourque appears in a lot of trade articles, huh?

    The Sharks seem to have plenty of forwards, but Bourque would be great on the third line.

    So far, he has 11 goals in 32 games for the Flames. Bourque is a bit of an inconsistent player, but would have less pressure to score for the Sharks.

    The only possible downside? Look what happened to Martin Havlat—he only has two goals so far. But that kind of thing could help Bourque.

    He would be a great forward on a talented Sharks team, whether he's asked to score or just to skate hard and establish a forecheck.

    Bourque is also a very underrated penalty killer and has scored 10 short-handed goals over his last three seasons. Scoring shorthanded isn't the Sharks problem, but he could definitely help the team improve on their ugly PK.

    The Sharks could send over Torrey Mitchell and Jason Demers to acquire him.

    The Flames need some more offensive defensemen, and the chance to play on a higher unit could probably benefit Demers. We all know offense is Demers' game on defense, and the Flames would probably enjoy having the 23-year-old.

    Torrey Mitchell could also use a change of scenery. Mitchell's career never really took off in San Jose, where he was always a bottom-line forward. If Calgary gives him a chance to be a top-six forward, maybe Mitchell could use that to finally help his career take off. He's still young, at 26, so he still has his prime to look forward to.

    The Flames may not miss Bourque a lot, as he's had some inconsistency troubles in the past.

    It's a trade that would benefit both teams.

3. Dan Boyle for Josh Bailey and Matt Martin

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    I feel bad, because I really like Dan Boyle. But at age 36, Boyle's career is starting to decline. His play has begun to break down, and he only has two goals so far this season. On the defensive end, Boyle has looked pretty sloppy and hasn't been able to shut any men down. I hate to say the obvious, but Boyle is past his prime.

    But most teams may overlook the poor play. The Islanders would be happy to acquire Dan Boyle, as they definitely need some more offense at the defense position.

    The Sharks could acquire a finesse forward like Josh Bailey and a gritty bottom-six guy like Matt Martin. Martin has impressed Isles fans, like myself, with his grit, heart and effort. He also can score a handful of goals.

    Bailey, once a player who many fans thought had a bright future, never let his career take off, similar to Mitchell. But with a far more talented Sharks offense, maybe Bailey could bring a playmaking element to the Sharks' lower lines.

    Sharks fans, this isn't a bad trade. As much as you may love Boyle, you can easily tell his play is beginning to fall apart. But most Islander fans and staff may not notice that.

4. Martin Havlat for Pascal Dupuis

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    This may be a bit of a stretch, but Pascal Dupuis would be an excellent addition for the Sharks.

    It may be a little early to judge, but the Martin Havlat trade doesn't seem to be panning out in San Jose. It's tough to say, but Havlat could possibly be better suited in Pittsburgh.

    I was honestly just looking for a Shark to name in the trade, because Dupuis would really help the team.

    He's a right winger who has nine goals and 23 points in 33 games for the Penguins. But here's the thing: He's a fantastic penalty killer, something the Sharks really need.  

    He scored four short-handed goals last year, and has one so far this season.

    For fixing the area in which the Sharks need the most help with sticky glue, someone who isn't performing—like Havlat—would be a small price to pay.

5. Jamie McGinn for Vernon Fiddler

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    Vernon Fiddler would be an awesome acquisition for San Jose. He doesn't score a lot of goals, and would be designated as a bottom-line center.

    But he's an absolute monster on the penalty kill. Last season with the Coyotes, before he was acquired by the Dallas Stars, Fiddler totaled nearly 235 short-handed minutes.

    He's a hard worker that will rarely get caught out of position, and would easily solidify the Sharks' penalty kill.

    I like Jamie McGinn, but the Stars could use a decent, gritty scoring winger to fit in with the rest of the team. If McGinn proves his recent amazing surge isn't a fluke, his value could go up, and the Sharks could trade him while he's hot.