Although Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said Joe Thornton's right MCL injury would "probably not" change their approach at the trade deadline, they were reportedly circling the trade waters during All-Star weekend.
They may be doing something to address Thornton's absence, if a recent report is to be believed.
The Sharks are interested in trading for Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec, Nick Kypreos reported Saturday night on Sportsnet's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
"A lot of people are questioning whether Joe Thornton will be back in time from his MCL surgery to play meaningful games down the stretch," Kypreos said. "Plekanec is the type of guy that can at least keep [the Sharks] in the race."
Plekanec scored 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 54 games entering Saturday. With Plekanec on the ice in five-on-five situations, Montreal has attempted 50.94 percent of the shots, according to Natural Stat Trick.
Montreal sent scouts to the Sharks' Thursday night loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, and to Saturday's contest against the Edmonton Oilers, the Bay Area News Group's Curtis Pashelka noted this week. Last month, The Athletic's Kevin Kurz reported that Montreal was "regularly" sending scouts to SAP Center.
The 35-year-old Czech native is in the second year of a two-year deal that carries a $6,000,000 salary cap hit. Elliotte Friedman, Kypreos' Hockey Night in Canada colleague, added that it's possible opts to re-sign Plekanec rather than trading him.
Plekanec is not the only center from the Atlantic Division that the Penguins and Sharks may pursue: Friedman said he "wouldn't be surprised" if either team was interested in Ottawa Senators center Derrick Brassard.
Brassard, 30, is signed through 2019 at a $5,000,000 salary cap hit. He's scored 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) in 51 games this season, and the Senators have attempted 49.76 percent of the shots with him on the ice in five-on-five situations, per Natural Stat Trick. With Brassard off of the ice, they only attempted 45.32 percent of the five-on-five shots.