Sharks

NHL Gameday: Karlsson returns, Sharks go for first win vs Coyotes

NHL Gameday: Karlsson returns, Sharks go for first win vs Coyotes

Programming note – Sharks-Arizona coverage starts today at 6:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 12-9-1, 25 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Arizona: 8-10-2, 18 points, 7th Pacific Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The Sharks are 0-1-1 against Arizona this season, losing 3-2 on Nov. 1 and by the same score on Nov. 19 in overtime, both on the road. San Jose has outshot the Coyotes 86-56 through two meetings. Goalie Mike Smith made 43 saves in the most recent game, and will go again tonight.

“We’ve outshot them the last two games by quite a wide margin but haven’t gotten results,” Pete DeBoer said. “We have to find a way to turn the effort and the shots into a win. Smith is good, he’s got a great record against us. We’ve got to find a way to get to him, get traffic, get some tough goals.”

Martin Jones will start for the Sharks, who also have a game on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

***Melker Karlsson will return after a seven-game absence from blocking a shot on Nov. 12. He’ll play on the fourth line with Micheal Haley and center Ryan Carpenter. DeBoer mentioned on Monday that Carpenter looks “more confident” than last season, when he managed to get in one NHL game.

The 25-year-od Carpenter agreed. “I’ve been a pro for a little longer so maybe a little more confident. I feel like I had a better training camp this year, too, so maybe that’s where you build confidence there, just by playing well. When you play well at the next level that’s how you build your confidence, naturally.”

The Sharks’ fourth line generated a goal against Anaheim on Saturday when a Dylan DeMelo score capped off a lengthy shift in the offensive zone.

“It was a good feeling,” Carpenter said. “I feel like we got some momentum and some energy there. … It was nice to be able to do that.”

***The Sharks will conclude a five-game homestand tonight, winning three of the first four. They are in the middle of a stretch of 11 games in 18 days, and would like to finish this week off strong before enjoying a rare weekend off.

“This has been a really tough stretch both opponent and number of games and short turnover,” DeBoer said. “We wanted to come back [home] and have a good week last week. We did, we went 3-1. We want to have a good week this week with the three games we’ve got.”

Arizona is in last place in the Western Conference, but is coming off of a home-and-home sweep of the first place Edmonton Oilers. 

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Mikkel Boedker. The Sharks forward was benched for the third period of Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Ducks, and DeBoer indicated that Boedker’s effort has been lagging. The 26-year-old has just two goals, his only points, in 22 games this season. His most recent goal came against Arizona on Nov. 1, 12 games ago.

Arizona: Mike Smith. The Coyotes goalie will face what could be his favorite team to play against, as Smith has always seemed to give the Sharks fits. In his last 16 against San Jose, he’s 10-4-2 with a 1.66 GAA and .954 SP and four shutouts – two of which have come at SAP Center.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Mikkel Boedker – Chris Tierney – Kevin Labanc
Micheal Haley – Ryan Carpenter – Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Arizona
Max Domi – Martin Hanzal – Radim Vrbata
Jamie McGinn – Christian Dvorak – Anthony Duclair
Tobias Rieder – Jordan Martinook – Shane Doan
Lawson Crouse – Laurent Dauphin – Ryan White

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Connor Murphy
Alex Goligoski – Anthony DeAngelo
Mike Stone – Luke Schenn

Mike Smith (starter)
Justin Peters

INJURIES

Sharks: Tommy Wingels (lower body) and Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) are out.

Arizona: Brad Richardson (broken leg) and Louie Domingue (lower body) are out.

QUOTEABLE

“Everybody has expectations, obviously. It’s always hard to keep confidence up when you don’t score [or] don’t do that well. You’ve got to continue to grind at it and continue to try and make good plays, and just play your game.” – Mikkel Boedker

NHL expansion draft: Sharks must decide which goalies to protect, expose

martinjonesap.jpg
AP

NHL expansion draft: Sharks must decide which goalies to protect, expose

Editor's note: This week, NBC Sports California will look ahead to the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, at which time the Seattle franchise officially will join the league as its 32nd team. Every team in the league will be affected, as players from (nearly) every roster will be made available to Seattle for its inaugural roster. We continue with an examination of which goalies the Sharks likely are to protect and expose.

Two summers from now, the Sharks will have a new Pacific Division rival.

The expansion franchise in Seattle is set to officially join the NHL for the 2021-22 regular season, but before it can take the ice, it needs players to do so.

As described in the rules that will govern the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft prior to the start of the 2021-22 season, the rest of the teams in the league (except for the Vegas Golden Knights) will be forced to expose a certain number of players, making them eligible to be selected by Seattle. Each team has the ability to protect a limited number of players on its roster, making those players exempt from selection in the expansion draft.

Those protections are specific to position, and when it comes to goalies, each team will only be able to protect one on its roster. However, all players with no-movement clauses are automatically protected (unless they waive those clauses), and all first- and second-year players -- as well as all unsigned draft picks -- are exempt from inclusion in the expansion draft. 

Based on those restrictions, we can begin to zero in on who the Sharks might expose to the 2021 Expansion Draft, since they (and 28 other teams) will be obligated to expose at least one goalie who is either a) under contract in 2021-22, or b) will be a restricted free agent immediately prior to 2021-22.

Martin Jones enters next season as the unquestioned starter, and he's under contract through the 2023-24 season. He has a modified no-trade clause, but that doesn't afford the same automatic protections as a no-movement clause, so he is eligible to be exposed in the expansion draft. However, with very little in the way of tested netminders behind him in the organization, San Jose might be inclined to protect Jones, assuming he shows further evidence of 'Playoff Jones' between now and then.

Outside of Jones, Aaron Dell is the only other Sharks goalie currently signed to an NHL contract. However, Dell is entering the final year of his deal, and he's due to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the upcoming season. If the Sharks decide they want to expose Dell to the expansion draft, they must first re-sign him so that he fills the contract requirement.

In fact, in theory, any goalie who plays for the Sharks this coming season would be eligible to be exposed to the expansion draft, assuming they fulfill both the contract and experience requirements. 

[RELATED: Sharks will miss Pavelski's leadership more than his goals]

The Sharks have multiple netminders in lower levels of the organization that they're high on, and if they're thinking ahead and want to ensure that none of them are made available in the expansion draft, you could see some clever maneuvering on San Jose's part this coming season or next. For instance, they conceivably could sign a backup goaltender with NHL experience to a contract through at least the end of the 2020-21 season, and then expose that player.

If Jones regresses, he's a natural candidate to be exposed, considering he'll still be under contract at that time. Similarly, if Dell gets re-signed to a short-term deal, that's an obvious sign he's destined to be exposed. Regardless of how the Sharks approach their goaltending situation moving forward, clearly they will need to think long and hard about the ramifications of their decisions.

NHL expansion draft: How Sharks will be impacted by Seattle franchise

expansiondraftrulesap.jpg
AP

NHL expansion draft: How Sharks will be impacted by Seattle franchise

Editor's note: This week, NBC Sports California will look ahead to the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, at which time the Seattle franchise officially will join the league as its 32nd team. Every team in the league will be affected, as players from (nearly) every roster will be made available to Seattle for its inaugural roster. We begin with an explanation of the expansion draft rules.

Over the last two years, the Sharks have developed a budding rivalry with the Vegas Golden Knights, who joined the NHL as an expansion franchise prior to the 2017-18 season.

Two years from now, another expansion franchise -- this one in Seattle, Washington -- officially will join the league, and like Vegas, will slide right into the Pacific Division, with the Arizona Coyotes being displaced to the Central Division.

Before the currently unnamed Seattle franchise begins play in 2021-22, it has to acquire its inaugural roster by way of the expansion draft.

The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft will operate under the same rules for Seattle as it did for the Golden Knights back in the summer of 2017. Seattle will select one player from each of the other teams in the league (excluding Vegas) for a grand total of 30. Specifically, those 30 players must include at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies.

Eventually, Seattle will whittle down those 30 players to a minimum of 20 under contract for the 2021-22 regular season, and that inaugural roster must have a cumulative salary that is between 60 and 100 percent of the 2020-21 salary cap's upper limit.

However, it's not as if Seattle can just handpick the best player from each roster. The other 30 teams can protect a limited number of their own players, making them ineligible for selection in the expansion draft.

Those teams have two options for protecting players: Either protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or protect eight skaters (forwards or defensemen) and one goalie. Regardless of which option a team chooses, there are certain conditions it must abide by.

For instance, any player with a no-movement clause at the time of the expansion draft -- and who declines to waive that clause -- must be protected and will count toward their team's protected list. Additionally, all first- and second-year players, as well as all unsigned draft choices, are exempt from inclusion in the expansion draft, and won't count toward their team's protected list.

There are two sides to the protected/exempt coin, though. The other 30 teams can't simply scrape the bottom of their respective barrels and expose those remnants to the expansion draft. There are conditions that those teams must meet that ensure Seattle will receive legitimate NHL players, much like the Golden Knights did before making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in their debut season.

Each of those 30 teams must expose at least one defensemen and at least two forwards who are a) under contract in 2021-22 and b) played in at least 40 NHL games the prior season, or in at least 70 NHL games over the previous two seasons combined.

[RELATED: Sharks will miss Pavelski's leadership more than his goals]

Furthermore, those teams must also expose at least one goalie who is either under contract in 2021-22 or will be a restricted free agent immediately prior to 2021-22. If a team elects to expose the latter option to the expansion draft, it must have already given that goalie a qualifying offer prior to submitting its protected list.

Lastly, any players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games heading into 2021-22, or who have been otherwise confirmed to have a career-threatening injury, cannot be exposed to the expansion draft unless approved by the league.

Traditionally, expansion franchises have taken a long time to find their footing in the NHL, but the Golden Knights bucked that trend and took the sports world by storm. Considering the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft will have the exact same setup as the one that jumpstarted Vegas in 2017, it stands to reason that Seattle could do the same.