Free Agent Frenzy

This will probably be my last hockey related posting until the 2010/2011 season gets ready to start. As most will know the Sharks battled their way into the playoffs and did a decent job of not embarrassing themselves (or their fans) this year by losing in the conference semi-finals to the eventual Cup winners the Chicago Blackhawks. With the end of the season started the questions as to what would happen to some big names within the organization who's contracts were up as of July 1. The two big names were Patrick Marleau, the one time captain and leading goal scorer for the team, and Evgeni Nabokov the teams goalie for the last 10 seasons. Basic math proved it would be near impossible to keep both players, and sign some of the other key pieces of the Sharks; names like Pavelski, Setoguchi, and Malhotra. Management decided to (and I tend to agree) to sign Marleau and let Nabokov go. I've been a huge Marleau fan since he started with the Sharks back in 1997. We also got Pavelski signed, and said good bye to captain and defenseman Rob Blake. We were approaching the draft and free agency with 2 main areas of concern; defense and goalie.
Free agency officially started today and I'm less than pleased by what I've seen the Sharks do so far. We signed a questionable goalie in Antero Niittymäki, who was as streaky, if not more streaky, than Nabokov. We've yet to sign any new defensemen, and it looks like our strategy between the pipes will be to go with a goal tending tandem with no clear starter and backup. To me that says that the Sharks have conceded that they don't have a goalie that they have faith in. It's of course too early to be dumping on the Sharks yet, but with the Sharks celebrating their 20th anniversary next season, it'd be nice to know that we'll be putting on the ice a team that can once again battle for the cut.

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