A team that isn’t expected to make much noise for the remainder of the season (but technically could), there’s some talk the San Jose Sharks could make a bit of a splash heading into the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline. Because they are out of the playoffs, are selling assets and have some space on their salary cap, Pierre LeBrun of the The Athletic has noted in a recent column, “San Jose has told teams it has cap space for rent.”
He adds, “The Sharks have more than $6 million in cap space and are seeking to leverage that into an asset or two. Keep an eye on them potentially being that third team in a complicated cap deal to facilitate trades.”
This year’s trades could be tricky from multiple perspectives. Few teams have room to make moves based on how little salary cap space they have and teams are weary of what the NHL Expansion Draft might do when looking at adding players that have term to their roster. As such, many insiders have speculated the deadline could more less active than normal, but the Sharks are trying to keep things alive.
Like the Chicago Blackhawks who may use their cap space to take on contracts in exchange for sweeteners in any deal, the Sharks are are missing a second-round pick this year from the Erik Karlsson deal. They’d like to try and recoup another pick and might take on a less-than ideal contract to do so.
Two Ways to Deal With the Sharks
Teams could deal directly with the Sharks or, should San Jose not have a player the acquiring team wants, make a deal with another franchise, then ship off the player they take on, giving the Sharks a draft pick in exchange.
$6 million is a fair bit of money, but it’s not so much room that the Sharks can do multiple deals like this. They may have to be selective, which essentially means the price to have them take on bad money could be high.
** One thing worth noting: the Sharks aren’t officially out of the playoff mix yet. 11 days from the trade deadline, San Jose now finds themselves with an outside chance of the playoffs. If they are going to make these kinds of salary swap deals, it might have to wait a week and until they know for sure where they sit.
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