The San Jose Sharks woke up Tuesday morning seven points clear of the danger zone in the Western Conference, but don’t think for a second that general manager Doug Wilson will deviate from what he’s started.
He has tried to rebuild his team on the fly during the past two seasons, acquiring draft picks and getting younger as veterans such as Ryane Clowe, Michal Handzus, Douglas Murray, Dan Boyle and Brad Stuart have all departed.
Just because the Sharks currently sit in a playoff spot, I don’t think you’ll see that process change. Wilson will listen on his pending unrestricted free agents, which includes starting goalie Antti Niemi.
Niemi’s future in San Jose is unclear at best, his agent Markus Lehto telling ESPN.com via email from Europe on Monday that there haven’t been any discussions with the Sharks about an extension.
And while most people might think it crazy to deal your veteran starting goalie when you’re sitting in a playoff spot, I think Wilson would be willing to do it as long as the offer was good enough.
Thing is, which playoff-bound team would have any interest?
I don’t see any of those top teams needing a top goalie at this point. Obviously injuries can change the script, but right now, I think Niemi stays put, in part because I don’t view a real market for him.