Despite the talent on their roster, the San Jose Sharks had another lackluster season to conclude the COVID year. The Sharks finished with the lowest point total of any team in the Western Conference, and only the Red Wings & the Senators managed to be worse. However, one thing the Sharks have that those other two rosters don’t is talent. Guys like Brent Burns, Logan Couture, Erik Karlsson, and Evander Kane, to name a few, should not all be on the same crappy team. This team needs some prominent new names in the mix, so I’ll offer my three top-choices as the best armchair GM in the world.
Taylor Hall (ARI)
Although he won’t be cheap, Taylor Hall is a name that would do wonders for the city of San Jose. As a severely lacking team on the left-wing, Hall would allow Evander Kane to supplement Joe Thornton on the second line to help provide some more secondary scoring for the squad. And with guys like Kevin Leblanc becoming RFA’s, they’re going to need some more help in their top-twelve. I think Taylor Hall would fulfill that role to a tee.
Jacob Markstrom (VAN)
If you ask any Sharks fan what their biggest problem is, I would feel confident that 99% would say goaltending. No team is winning any silverware, never mind even getting to the playoffs, without someone reliable in between the pipes. Jacob Markstrom had a chance to prove himself this year and made the most of it during his time in Vancouver. He lead the team to a playoff berth before going down with an injury. This injury lead to the rise of “Big D*ck” Thatcher Demko, someone who stole the hearts of fans across the league. With Vancouver now having two reliable netminders in their system, they may have to settle on one and let some cap space clear up. I’m not sure if the Canucks are ready to put all of that trust into Demko quite yet, but San Jose should still be going full throttle to try and make Markstrom a Shark.
Erik Haula (FLA)
Although I know his name isn’t the flashiest, for a team that could be cap-strained, Erik Haula is one of the best bargains you can ask for. After having another unsuccessful season in Florida, Haula probably feels that it’s time he gets some reps with some more talented players. Haula is also a power-play anchor and can run special-teams very well. As someone sitting in the middle of his prime, Haula should be someone the Sharks can hope to slip into either their third or second-line center position, depending on the status of Joe Thornton.