NHL Free Agency, San Jose Sharks: The Ugly

July 8th, 2010 by MJ Kasprzak Leave a reply »
In the third piece of my series, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," assessing the San Jose Sharks offseason, we examine the ugly or non-moves of the summer. (See the following links to read about the team's good and bad decisions in free agency.)

The thing that makes these decisions ugly is the business of the NHL: It is not so much that they were bad moves as they were unfortunate, but necessary, to keep a competitive team under the salary cap.

There really are only three key players from 2009-10 who are not returning: In order of their contributions, Evgeni Nabokov, Rob Blake, and Manny Malhotra.

The first and easiest to look at is Rob Blake. Some people saw only age rob Blake of his skating ability, and may think the team forced him out. Even though that is remotely possible, this would not put him on this list because it does not make his departure ugly.

In addition, a forced retirement is not widely-held as a logical opinion throughout the league. While he was slowing down, that single deficiency was covered well, paired with the skilled skating of Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Last year, Blake was still very productive, finishing top- ...

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