Eklund - Sharks and Toronto - Couture
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10-12-2009, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Originally Posted by
I think the plan has always been to let Marleau go, but if he has a good year and wants to sign a Hossa-like contract, I can't see the team turning him down. You can't just find 1st line two-way forwards of Marleau's quality of the FA market. Getting him for 4-4.5 mill would be an absolute steal. Doug must know this.
Also, I have been encouraged by the comments from Todd (and maybe Doug as well) regarding Patty having the opportunity to whine or complain, and he didn't do so.
On Couture, I agree that he is a very good insurance policy, but I think Thornton and Pavs, along with Heatley and Boyle, are the safest on the team. I would bet Joe will be signed and sealed come next July 1st. I agree that converting to wing is something the org is almost certainly considering, but Couture's game is very much a center's game, of course players change.
If they manage to keep Heatley, Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski, and Setoguchi, the major hole that is our prospect forward depth (and wingers in particular) is not nearly as bad as it is if we lose one. It shouldn't be noted that keep those five, will almost certainly mean the end of Nabby's time in San Jose.
It seems as if it's the plan but it can change and the way things are starting, it should. I think it will depend heavily on next season's cap and forecasts. If the cap takes a significant dive, (54 would be the worst, I believe) then I think they'd ask Marleau to take a 8 or 9 year deal at 32-36 mil, backload it, and give him a conditional NTC for the first four or five years. That way, he's protected while he remains a great player, gives himself a damn good chance to retire a lifelong Shark, and in case things fall apart, the Sharks can buy him out in the latter stages for a cap-friendlier hit.
I think if it comes down to choosing a top six to lose, I would go with Ryane Clowe at this stage. I don't know how he could get the contract he did for his play last season and he certainly hasn't lived up to it yet in the few games we've seen thus far. Dumping Clowe and Huskins at the draft to make room for Marleau, if necessary, should be considered if Clowe keeps this up...and even if he doesn't Marleau in the next five years will probably outproduce Clowe the rest of his career.
I also agree that the two Joes are pretty safe bets to sign another contract but they still need some insurance in case things blow up on either front. In reality, a good portion of Marleau's game is a center's game...especially at this point. He's generally the fastest guy on the ice and is probably the most conservative defensively. Of course, this wasn't true when they originally tried the switch a couple years ago. I think Pavelski could make the switch as well simply because he is a very smart player and shouldn't have a problem making an adjustment if necessary. And it might be necessary if he keeps getting killed in the faceoff circle in the playoffs.
As for Nabby, it again will heavily depend on the cap. There's no way even if he plays out of his mind that he can command the same or more from the Sharks. His age and inconsistency from year to year will become a factor. However, there are a couple of options for him. He's going to be 35 late in July so they could, I guess, wait for him to hit that point and sign him to one year deals with bonuses for him so they can go over the cap. I think that's really the only way that Nabby can get a really good pay from the Sharks w/o too large of an actual cap hit salary. He'd have to take a 2.5-3 mil salary to stay and if he waits he can get bonuses to pump it up at the expense of term.
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