NHL Rumors: The San Jose Sharks Have Some Big Decisions to make...

NHL Rumors: The San Jose Sharks Have Some Big Decisions to make … Which Direction Will They Go In?

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The San Jose Sharks have some big named free agents and likely not enough salary cap space to bring them all back next year.
© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
The Sharks have some big decisions to make … Which direction will they go in?

Shawn Roarke of NHL.com: Joe Thornton when asked after the game for any hint on his future.

“Just … I don’t know, I don’t know,” he said, looking up at the scrum, looking down at his towel-draped knees, and then excusing himself. “OK. Thanks, guys.”

The pending free agent recorded 51 points in 73 games this past season.

Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News: Joe Thornton will need more time before making any decisions on whether to retire to play another season. The San Jose Sharks will also have to decide which direction they want to go.

The Sharks have seven pending free agents to go along with four restricted free agents.

Pending UFAs include Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Erik Karlsson, Gustav Nyquist, and Joonas Donskoi.

Two pending RFAs include Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc. Meier will be looking for a nice raise.

Sharks GM Doug Wilson said earlier this year that Pavelski and Thornton are the heartbeat of the team. He added that Pavelski has years remaining as an effective player.

There hasn’t been much contract talk between the Sharks and Pavelski this season. Term and money may become an issue.

The Sharks are the only team that can offer Erik Karlsson an eight-year deal. Early season talk had people thinking the Drew Doughty eight-year, $88 million range. Health issues might be a concern for some and lower the dollar amount.

If they can reach a reasonable price, Donskoi should be back.

Nyquist had been looking for a deal in the $5 million per year range before the Sharks acquired him at the deadline. He had 60 points in 81 games between the Sharks and Red Wings. The Sharks may not be able to fit his salary in if/when they re-sign Meier, Pavelski and Karlsson.

Matt Larkin of The Hockey News: The San Jose Sharks have a challenging offseason ahead of them. There are many directions they could take the team.

They currently have about $58.3 million in salary cap for 15 players.

On long-term extension for Timo Meier could cost the Sharks around $6 million per season.

Kevin Labanc will be looking for a couple million raise from his $925,000 AAV.

RFAs Dylan Gambrell and Joakim Ryan are also looking for new deals.

The Sharks will be lucky to be able to re-sign two of their four UFAs – Erik Karlsson, Joe Thornton, Gustav Nyquist and Joe Pavelski.

Karlsson could get $11 million a year on the open market, but maybe the Sharks could get him at closer to $10 because of the extra year they can offer.

Seems unlikely that they can afford to Nyquist.