Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Sharks roster taking shape?  All set?

Just because it seems like the thing to do these days, I’ll share my lineup guesses.  Today could be the last chance to do that since tonight is the last exhibition game.  Announcement of the final decisions are imminent, though there aren’t a lot of decisions left to make.

Marleau-Thornton-Pavelski, Clowe-Couture-Havlat, Wingels-Handzus-Mitchell, McGinn-Desjardins-A Murray, Ferriero, McCarthy.
Boyle-Murray, Burns-Vlasic, Demers-White, Vandermeer.
Niemi, Greiss.

There, that’s what I guess the Sharks roster will look like come October.  Why?  The top six are self-evident (F and D), even if they get moved around a bit.  The goalies?  It sounds like Niemi will be just fine by the start of the season.  If not, no biggie.  He’ll be back and Greiss seems to be finding his groove.

The third line just seems like the place for Wingels, he’s done everything he should have to do to start out with the big club (except change his waiver-exempt status).  His time on the second line and the power play Thursday night makes me think the coaching staff believes this too.  Only Burns and Boyle had more time than he did on the PP.  I know it’s all a training and evaluation exercise but still, he was getting a lot of time and attention.

Similarly, the team seems committed to Desjardins and Andrew Murray.  Unless Winchester is truly unhurt, I think they start on the 4th line.  What if Winchester is fine?  I think the team would sign him.  Though he has taken some dumb penalties, he has mostly been a smart, effective force on that line.  I would sign him if he is healthy. I might sign him even if he is only mostly healthy.  I really like the McGinn-Desjardins combination, and Winchester is cut from a similar mold as those two.  With the experience he has, I think he brings a little more than they do right now, but I really did not like the way he favored that leg Thursday.  That’s a bad development for a guy on a PTO.

Andrew Murray has a 2 way contract, and would probably clear waivers.  He didn’t get a lot of attention from his team last season, his game appearances dropped steadily from 67 to 29 games over three seasons with the Blues.  Sending him down would probably not be much of a risk. The coaching staff, however, did have him in the lineup on the night they were suspected of giving the fans a preview of the opening night roster.  He hasn’t especially stood out to me, good or bad, but they seem to like him. That’s the only reason I put him there.

McGinn has underwhelmed in a way someone trying to make the roster should not.  He would have to clear waivers but I think he is slightly less likely to do so than Murray. I think he will stay in SJ just to keep him off the waiver wire, until something comes up, either his performance or a trade.  No need to risk losing him for nothing.  Of course, if he performs badly enough, the risk of having him claimed on waivers would drop significantly.  But if he keeps doing things like that lovely backhand Thursday night, he is in grave peril of being snatched up, or staying in SJ for good.

Though he was most talked about during the last playoffs for taking big bad penalties, any news is good news when it comes to being recognizable.  Anyone who looked at those hits closely would see this is not a dirty player.  He is young, strong, not slow, and seems to have offensive potential that another team might think they could tap.  He might be viewed as a good pickup especially at the bargain price of a waiver grab.  So I believe it is not worth the risk to send him down, but I think he might be moved to make space for players like Wingels and, ultimately, James Sheppard. 

Ferriero I think will only stay up for a few games unless something surprising happens.  He has, according to my Twitter sources (no, I don’t trust my own efforts on the capgeek waiver calculator, I asked Fear the Fin), 5 more games before he loses waiver exemption status.  The coaching staff have been treating him like a valuable commodity, I think he is a less likely “making space” trade candidate.  All that said, he probably has more value as a trade asset than McGinn. 

McCarthy.  I put him in as another spare forward because I like his energy, and I think the Sharks do too, even if he hasn’t been outstanding this preseason.  He can bring a quickness and tenacity to the fourth line that it lacks.  McLaren is also a candidate there, not as a quick forward but as a player the team seems to like.  Since he is still recovering from surgery, my inclination is not to put him in SJ yet. I believe they are both still waiver exempt, so if something enticing came up, they could be sent down right quick.

Vandermeer.  The only reason I believe he will be the seventh D is that Braun needs playing time more than he does.  For a few minutes last night, I thought Braun would be playing in SJ right away, if Demers was out with injury already.  That is precisely what Braun is needed for: fill in for the ODs, not the DDs.  Braun is still waiver-exempt so no worries that he will be stol… I mean claimed.

That leaves only MacIntyre, Moore, and Sateri who I believe will be sent down with Braun.  Since there are already two goalies in Worcester, I guess Sateri could be sent to Stockton.  Stockton would have to be happy about that.  Moore, though he had three assists, only played the one preseason game.  I don’t think he’s ready to jump ahead of Braun in line.  Though competition is not so fierce for the 4th line I would guess that MacIntyre gets nudged just slightly by McCarthy, but I admit I’m biased. 

This is not my personal preference, this is just me trying to read the signs and circumstances.  There are a lot of things that could happen differently than I think they will, that would make me really happy.  Now to find out what the team really thinks.

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+murray, benn+ferriero, brad+winchester, frazer+mclaren, jamie+mcginn, jim+vandermeer, john+mccarthy, justin+braun, tommy+wingels

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About Petshark: Talking Stick

Native of Northern California.  Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.

I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle.  I watch, I react, I write it down.

My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked.  I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind.  When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom.  It hasn't, I don't think it will.  At all.

Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.

I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.

I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at talkingstick@petshark.net