It’s called Free Agent Frenzy, but it appears the Sharks will be in a very calm state once the NHL’s unrestricted free agency period starts Friday.
With a limited amount of cap space and the vast majority of the roster already signed for this upcoming season, the Sharks do not figure to be big players once the UFA period begins.
According to numbers provided by capgeek.com, the Sharks have $2.64 million in cap space. That does not include the contract for restricted free agent Tyler Kennedy, who has said he wants to be in San Jose. General manager Doug Wilson said earlier this week that contract talks started with Kennedy and his representative soon after Kennedy was acquired on Sunday.
It also does not include a contract for a backup goalie with NHL experience. The Sharks signed netminders Troy Grosenick and Harri Sateri earlier this week, but Thomas Greiss and Alex Stalock are set to be come unrestricted free agents Friday.
The Sharks would get some cap relief if, as is expected, Marty Havlat is put on Long Term Injury Reserve. Havlat is coming off bilateral pelvic floor reconstruction and there is no timetable for his return, according to the team.
If you include Tomas Hertl, who is likely to make the Sharks’ roster in the fall, and Matt Tennyson, who remains on an entry-level deal, the Sharks have 20 players under contract for the 2013-14 season.
The list of the top unrestricted free agents-to-be is not the most impressive in history, although that list grew Thursday when Mikhail Grabovski was put on unconditional waivers by the Leafs.
Other UFA’s to be include Danny Briere, Jarome Iginla, Mike Ribeiro, Nathan Horton, Andrew Ference, David Clarkson, Valtteri Filppula and Jaromir Jagr. Ilya Bryzgalov, Ray Emery and Tim Thomas lead the list of goalies.
The NHL Network, starts coverage which I believe will just be TSN’s coverage, of “Free Agent Frenzy” at 9 a.m. Although the Sharks may not be the most active team in the league over the next 24-48 hours, it could still provide for some entertaining viewing.
The one and only David Pollak is back on the beat Friday and after some well-deserved time off.