NHL Free Agency: San Jose Sharks’ Off-Season Still Coming into Focus

July 2nd, 2010 by Patrick Goulding II Leave a reply »
Following an NHL team during the offseason is a bit like waiting for a Polaroid picture to develop (for my younger readers, check Wikipedia).

Slowly but surely you wait and watch as out of foggy nothingness edges start to sharpen, shapes start to take form, and colors start to emerge, until the image comes fully into focus.

For the soon-to-be 2010-2011 San Jose Sharks, this development is still a work in progress.

The release of Evgeni Nabokov, re-signing of Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Scott Nichol, and Niclas Wallin, the signing of unrestricted free agent goaltender Antero Niittymaki, and the failure to retain gritty forward and faceoff phenom Manny Malhotra have brought the major elements of the upcoming roster into view, but some critical details are still elusive.

Why was Wallin given $2.5 million? Why was Niittymaki given $2 million? Surely this money could have been better used elsewhere.

Niittymaki is a capable netminder who nearly carried the Finnish national team to a gold medal in the Torino Olympics in 2006 (Go Tre Kronor), but with Marty Biron, Dan Ellis, and even Chris Mason signing elsewhere for less, was he ...

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