The San Jose Sharks finally made moves to clear almost $5 million in cap space late last week, shipping veteran defencemen Brad Lukowich and Christian Ehrhoff to Vancouver for prospects C Patrick White and D Daniel Rahimi.
This should give the Sharks enough space to fill out their roster, but it is evident there will be a loss of talent. San Jose has only five bonafide NHL defencemen left, and the sixth spot will have to be filled by either a prospect, minor league, or junior player. The top candidate is Derek Joslin, who played adequately in limited action last season.
Ehrhoff's salary, coupled with his penchant for turnovers at critical times and his horrible plus/minus ranking over the past two years, was the reason I proposed packaging him in a trade to acquire disgruntled Ottawa forward Dany Heatley. The Sharks still need a reliable scorer, and are unlikely to have that role filled by anyone form a lower line.
Instead, the Sharks will get nothing in return for the talented young blue-liner, and now are thin at that key position. The team can easily bulk up at that position without too much cost because they only need players for the third pair, but finding a scorer will be hard without giving up more than they can afford with no one left fitting that bill in free agency.From the looks of the team right now, Doug Wilson is in a semi-rebuilding phase--this is a team that may make the playoffs, but is not built to contend for the Cup. Not that they really did at any point when they were built for it.