Sharks

Bringing back Patrick Marleau won't fix all of Sharks' offensive woes

Bringing back Patrick Marleau won't fix all of Sharks' offensive woes

Well, at least you can't say the start to this Sharks season isn't interesting.

After rumors that Patrick Marleau could return to the South Bay were ultimately shut down, the franchise's all-time goals and points leader is re-joining the Sharks, the team announced Tuesday afternoon ahead of their game against the Nashville Predators.

Marleau's return certainly is a polarizing one. It also says a lot about where the team stands just three games into the season.

Less than a month ago, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson told the press the organization was focused on giving its emerging young players the opportunity to fill in key roles on the team as opposed to bringing Marleau back. But after getting outscored 12-3 to start the season, it looks like the team wants more veteran help on offense -- and doesn't want to wait to fill in that role, either.

There are, of course, questions as to how much Marleau will contribute. While Marleau was a key to San Jose's offense through 19 seasons, he's coming off a down season with the Toronto Maple Leafs where he scored 37 points, his fewest since a 31-point campaign during the truncated 2012-13 season. Though the Sharks could use any boost to their offense that they can get right now, he's probably not going to fill San Jose's scoring void upon his return.

It will be interesting to see where Marleau pencils into San Jose's lineup. Before taking his talents to Toronto, he spent a significant amount of time playing on Logan Couture's wing on the Sharks' second line. Whether Peter DeBoer files Marleau right back into that spot is anyone's guess.

And frankly, since DeBoer has no problem mixing up his lines at any given time, it wouldn't be surprising if Marleau does some moving around before he finds the perfect spot in the Sharks' forward assault.

Keep in mind: Just because Marleau is returning to the Sharks, doesn't mean that the team's early-season woes are completely behind them. San Jose only has scored one goal per game through its first few contests and the power play is a dismal 0-for-14. Marleau also is going to have to get acclimated to the team given there have been multiple roster changes since he last played with them.

What does Marleau have left in the tank? We'll just have to wait for when he puts that Sharks sweater back on and see for ourselves.

Sharks' Tomas Hertl explains funny, simple reason why he wears No. 48

Sharks' Tomas Hertl explains funny, simple reason why he wears No. 48

Tomas Hertl has a huge year ahead of him. As he returns from ACL and MCL surgery, he and his wife Aneta are expecting the birth of their first child in November.

Sharks fans everywhere can't wait for No. 48 to get back on the ice. But how did he pick that number? It’s quite simple.

“They give it to me,” he wrote in a recent NHLPA questionnaire.

Enough said.

But before Hertl was the Sharks’ All-Star center, he had other aspirations.

Believe it or not, he wrote in the questionnaire that he wanted to be an architect if he wasn’t going to be a hockey player. But he was born to play hockey.

His dad, Jaroslav, during the winter in his native in Prague, would create nets (measuring the perfect size) on the frozen ponds near where he lived. Hertl’s dad would even kick off skaters if they were recreationally using the area where he wanted to play hockey.

[RELATED: Sharks avoid nightmare scenario in 2020 NHL Draft lottery]

As much as Hertl could have thrived as an architect, his career as a hockey star was destined.

NHL, NHLPA agree to four-year CBA extension through 2025-26 season

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USATSI

NHL, NHLPA agree to four-year CBA extension through 2025-26 season

While MLB and the MLB Players Association spent the last few months bickering, the NHL and its Players Association used the last few weeks to hammer out a new CBA.

On Monday, the two sides announced that they had agreed to a memorandum of understanding for a new four-year extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

If ratified this week, the CBA would run through the 2025-26 NHL season, and expire Sept. 15, 2026.

The NHL and NHLPA also were able to iron out details for the season restart, but because the Sharks aren't heading to one of the two hub cities, that part doesn't really affect them.

TSN's Frank Seravalli reported Sunday that part of the new CBA stipulated that the 2020-21 salary cap would be frozen at $81.5 million, and wouldn't rise until the league reached $4.8 billion in hockey-related revenue.

The Sharks have a lot of free-agent decisions to make this offseason, so a salary-cap freeze doesn't help them.

According to CapFriendly.com, the Sharks will enter the offseason with $14,881,667 in cap space. But with Joe Thornton, Melker Karlsson, Stefan Noesen, Aaron Dell and three other players hitting unrestricted free agency, San Jose might not be able to bring all of them back.

Additionally, Kevin Labanc headlines the Sharks' four restricted free agents. General manager Doug Wilson is going to have a tough time re-signing everyone.

[RELATED: Could Burns be left unprotected for expansion draft?]

If you're keeping track, that's 11 unrestricted or restricted free agents with just under $15 million in cap space to sign them. A few players probably aren't returning next season.

While the Sharks have their work cut out for them this offseason, the league and the Players Association took care of business well ahead of time.