Sharks

Five Sharks players who have exceeded expectations despite down season

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AP

Five Sharks players who have exceeded expectations despite down season

This Sharks' season has been difficult to comprehend, predict and digest.

There’s no denying the gap between expectations and reality, which is the blatant storyline of the campaign thus far for the team and most of its players.

Having said that, there’s also a group of select individuals, somewhat flying under the radar, who have met or exceeded expectations in the first 42 games:

Barclay Goodrow 

Goodrow already has matched his career-high 17 points from last season, and still shows plenty of tangible upside for a player cementing his spot in the NHL. Goodrow has played wing and center this season, up and down the lineup. That versatility -- from the same forward who played 60 NHL games in 2014-15, but was relegated to the minors most of the next two seasons -- is valuable.  

There’s no question where he belongs now, on pace to play in all 82 games for the second season in a row.

Mario Ferraro

Ferraro has become an every-game player for the Sharks in his rookie campaign. It was supposed to be a first-half where multiple young players like Ferraro were given significant roles and made great strides. 

However, only the defenseman wearing No. 38 has emerged to become a regular in the lineup. While there are rare examples of learning-on-the-job moments, they are far overshadowed by Ferraro’s raw ability, potential and prowess without the puck.   

Aaron Dell

Dell has given the Sharks options most teams don’t have. In October and November, it was the ability to provide Martin Jones some rest without lessening San Jose's chances at victory. Here in December and January with fresh slates of a new coaching staff, Dell has surged and possibly launched himself into the starting role. 

There’s no question the goalie situation has escalated into a healthy competition, of which Dell currently holds the upper hand.

[RELATED: Here's how Hertl still can get into the NHL All-Star Game]

Radim Šimek 

Šimek has been hindered at times by a knee injury suffered last season, but there’s no denying his impact when participating, when the Sharks are 13-5-2. That’s 13 of their 18 wins, and he hasn’t even played half the team’s games. 

It doesn’t make sense that any single player could yield that kind of difference, but the sample size and effect speak for themselves. With responsible tendencies and a distinct physical element to his game, Simek just seems to be that piece that helps the rest of the blue line’s puzzle fit.

Brenden Dillon

Dillon's name can get lost in the star power of San Jose’s defensive corps, but make no mistake, it’s his predictability and flexibility that have often helped the Sharks figure out the pairings that work best. 

“Dilly” widely is known as one of the nicest and most liked teammates in the dressing room, yet is also routinely the first to drop the gloves when situations require on the ice. He also is the team leader in hits each of the last four seasons.

NHL trade tracker: Rumors, updates, predictions, analysis of deadline

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AP

NHL trade tracker: Rumors, updates, predictions, analysis of deadline

It's the most wonderful time of the NHL season. Unless it's not. 

Yes, the trade deadline finally is upon us Monday at noon PT, and that could bring a flurry of activity. Or, it might not, stressing us out as we try to fill out this here live blog. 

The Sharks traded their most attractive piece about a week before the deadline, shipping defenseman Brenden Dillon to the Washington Capitals for a pair of draft picks. Dillon already is winning over his new teammates, but San Jose still has a few pending unrestricted free agents who could have new homes Monday afternoon.

What will happen to bottom-six forward Melker Karlsson, who didn't play in either of the Sharks' last two games before the deadline after leaving with an injury against the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 20? What of franchise legend Joe Thornton, who said "it is" tempting to think of being traded to a contender? How about big names under contract for the foreseeable future? 

[RELATED: How to watch 2020 NHL Trade Deadline Show live online]

The rest of the NHL could look much different, too. Follow along here for the latest rumors, updates and more ahead of the trade deadline. 

Programming note: The "2020 NHL Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way Monday at 11:30 a.m. PT on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com! How will the Sharks be impacted heading into the noon deadline? Don’t miss it!

Monday

10:02 a.m. PT: Could Thornton meet up with former teammate Joe Pavelski? The Dallas Stars have their eyes on Jumbo. 

9:45 a.m. PT: Jumbo's status still is up in the air.

9:28 a.m. PT: Now we're cooking.

9:25 a.m. PT: The Bruins and Ducks have a deal.

8:50 a.m. PT: Buffallo has added a veteran winger. 

8:13 a.m. PT: It looks like Chris Kreider is staying put.

8 a.m. PT: So long, Patty Ice.

7: 11 a.m. PT: The Panthers get the defenseman they sorely needed.

6:55 a.m. PT: The Athletic's Josh Yohe reported the Pittsburgh Penguins are "making a big push" to acquire Patrick Marleau from the Sharks. 


Sunday

9:40 p.m. PT: Mike Green was held out of the Detroit Red Wings' lineup for good reason Sunday. He's headed to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional draft pick. 

Green is far removed from his point-per-game days with the Washington Capitals a decade ago, but he should give the Oilers solid depth on the blue line. At the very least, playing with Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid should be reinvigorating. 

9:22 p.m. PT: Could the Ottawa Senators' most valuable trade chip come off the board? TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Sunday night that pending free-agent forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau had "dialogue" with the Sens about a contract extension. 

"I think what you've got here is you've got a player who really would like to stay in Ottawa," McKenzie said Sunday of the Ottawa native, who has 40 points (24 goals, 16 assists) in 60 games this season. "He's a born-and-bred Ottawa Senator, and so the notion of staying in Ottawa long-term doesn't frighten him at all. But, free agency's also an opportunity to make hay, and he wants to make sure he's not taking too big a hometown discount to stay with the Senators."

McKenzie mentioned the Senators' rumored asking price -- a first-round pick and a prospect -- might be too much for other teams to pay at the moment. If they don't reach a deal, McKenzie said it's likely Pageau is traded Monday. 

7:04 p.m. PT: There is a "strong possibility" the Sharks will trade veteran forward Patrick Marleau before Monday's deadline, TVA Sports' Louis Jean reported Sunday. 

Marleau re-joined the Sharks earlier this season, after an offseason trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Carolina Hurricanes and a subsequent buyout. The 40-year-old has 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 57 games this season, and TSN's Frank Seravalli wrote Saturday that Marleau is more likely to be traded than veteran teammate Joe Thornton. 

5:36 p.m. PT: The Minnesota Wild didn't make a trade, but they did reveal who they'll play in the 2021 Winter Classic. 

The Blues now join the likes of Chicago, the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers as teams who have played multiple times in the NHL's signature outdoor event. 

5:17 p.m. PT: Alex Ovechkin got his man. The Washington Capitals acquired Russian star Ilya Kovalchuk in exchange for a third-round pick.

That's not a bad bit of business by the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs signed Kovalchuk after the Los Angeles Kings waived him and terminated his contract. Getting a third-round pick in return speaks to Kovalchuk's mini-resurgence in Montreal, and now he'll try to win his first ring alongside his countryman. 

4:43 p.m. PT: TSN's Frank Seravalli firmly lists the Sharks among the NHL's five biggest sellers, while the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes are set to be some of the biggest buyers.

Seravalli's colleague Darren Dreger, meanwhile, reported that Zach Bogosian has agreed to a deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Buffalo to Tampa is a massive weather upgrade, but it might not be as big as leaving the cellar-dwelling Sabres and joining the Lightning. 

4:11 p.m. PT: It officially Hold Trade Candidates Out Of The Lineup SZN. Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou and defenseman Mike Green didn't warm up Sunday. 

The former is a restricted free agent, while the latter goes unrestricted this summer. The Red Wings are armed with nearly as many draft picks (eight) than players currently on their roster under contract next season (nine, per Cap Friendly). Additional moves could give Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman even more flexibility this summer. 

Yzerman's old team, meanwhile, reportedly are favorites to sign defenseman Zach Bogosian.

The Buffalo Sabres terminated Bogosian's contract after he was waived and didn't report to the AHL's Rochester Americans.

Sharks trade Patrick Marleau to Penguins for third-round draft pick

Sharks trade Patrick Marleau to Penguins for third-round draft pick

This season hasn't gone the way the Sharks had hoped, and with their playoff hopes all but gone, San Jose apparently is doing right by one of its veterans.

With the NHL trade deadline happening Monday, the Sharks traded Patrick Marleau to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2021 third-round draft pick. The move first was reported by TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

"Patrick is one of the most iconic players to ever wear the Sharks uniform," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a press release. "Although we have had a disappointing season in San Jose, he deserves every opportunity to have a chance at winning a Stanley Cup, and we're happy to help accommodate that. We wish him the best of luck."

The third-round pick reportedly could become a second-round pick. 

[RELATED: NHL trade deadline rumors, live updates]

Sharks fans won't have to wait long to give Marleau an ovation, as the Penguins will visit SAP Center on Saturday.

Marleau was drafted by the Sharks in 1997 and played the first 19 years of his career in teal before leaving for the Toronto Maple Leafs after the 2016-17 season. He returned at the beginning of the 2019-20 season, signing a one-year contract back on Oct. 8. He has totaled 20 points in 58 games this season, his 22nd in the NHL, including 10 goals and 10 assists.

During his lengthy San Jose career, Marleau has been an iconic presence on the ice, earning the nickname "Mr. Shark" while setting franchise records for goals (519), points (1,102), and games played (1,551) while donning the teal sweater.

Marleau might not be the only Shark heading out of town Monday, as San Jose also reportedly is taking calls on veteran forward Joe Thornton.

There surely will be more action as the deadline draws closer.