This is only my second blog on this site and has to be short and sweet since I do not have much time. I just wanted to share my thoughts about which players the Sharks should keep, as well as hear some input from other Sharks fans.
I think there are only three players that I would be really upset to see go and they are:
1 - Dan Boyle: He is my choice for Captain next year. He is the only Sharks player that really owned up to this year's 1st round exit. Boyle was our best player in this year's playoffs and is a leader on and off the ice. He is arguably our best player, his only real competition being Joe Thornton.
2 - Joe Pavelski: Talk about and up-and-comer. Joe-Pa plays in every critical situation for the sharks. He is one of our top PKer's and reminds me a lot of Henrik Zetterberg. This guy is only going to get better and it would be a huge mistake to let him go.
3 - Ryane Clowe: At the State of the Sharks GM Doug Wilson expressed repeatedly that it is grit that the Sharks lack the most. Clowe is our grittiest and toughest player. He has had only one (almost) full NHL season and he put up 52 points. He is one of the best players in the league when playing in the corners and if he could only learn to get to the FRONT of the net he will become a force a la Holmstrom and Frazen.
Other than that I am neutral on most of the Sharks' players. There are, however, three players that I think need to be moved.
1 - Christian Ehrhoff: It has only taken three years of missing the net, letting opponents pull his pants down and score, and taking shifts off for fans in SJ to finally realize how bad Ehrhoff really is. He had by FAR the worst +/- on the team and he refused to skate in the defensive zone during the Anaheim series. During the 2008 Playoffs virtually every goal that was scored during both the Calgary and Dallas series was scored by the player that Ehrhoff was supposed to be guarding. Hopefully DW can get some good value for him since his technically one of the coveted "puck-moving defenseman."
2 - Patrick Marleau: I love Marleau. Last year when people were calling for him to be traded I thought they were crazy. He has been my favorite Shark for years. But the time has come for a culture change in San Jose and that starts with the Captain. I wish Marleau well but he just has not cut it as the team captain and after his best regular season ever his trade value has never been higher.
3 - Jonathan Cheechoo: Another player I love. I think he will bounce back from his low production this year and get back to the 20-30 goal range, however a change of scenery would benefit him and getting the $3 million off the books would be a very good thing for the Sharks especially if it allows us to resign Clowe. That salary is just too much for a third line player and I don't see Cheech getting a real shot at a permanent place on the first or second lines.
Michalek could have been on this list as well but he showed some real strides this year (during the regular season) especially in his defensive game. Good two-way players are very valuable and I think he deserves one more shot in teal, even if he is over-paid.
What are your thoughts? Who should be moved and who should stay?