Will dwindling goalie pool help Sharks land Nash?
The Washington Capitals’ trade of Tomas Vokoun, and his subsequent two-year contract in Pittsburgh, takes a talented veteran goalie off of the market. Boston’s Tim Thomas has decided to take a year off to spend more time with his family. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets’ Curtis Sanford has agreed to play in Russia next season in the KHL.
In a roundabout way, those moves may improve the Sharks’ chances of landing Columbus captain Rick Nash, something they reportedly did around last February’s trade deadline.
The Blue Jackets have already made it known that they are looking for a different look in goal next season from starter Steve Mason, who was dreadful, as Columbus posted the worst record in the NHL. Our friends at ProHockeyTalk.com point out that the Blue Jackets have just two goaltenders signed for next season – Mason, and the 22-year-old Allen York, who has just 11 games of NHL experience.
If they do in fact decide to move Nash, as is expected, you can assume that the Blue Jackets would want a netminder in return as part of the deal. The Sharks’ prospect pool is thin, but goaltending is still one area that is considered a position of strength within the organization.
The Sharks have starter Antti Niemi locked up for another three years at a cap hit of $3.8 million according to CapGeek.com, while backup Thomas Greiss is signed through next season at $587,500. Prospect Alex Stalock, who looks to be completely recovered from a serious nerve injury more than a year ago, is a restricted free agent, as is AHL All-Star Tyson Sexsmith. Harri Sateri, another minor leaguer, has one year remaining on his deal.