SAN JOSE – When training camp began, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson and head coach Pete DeBoer stressed that the bevy of young players in the system would be pushing for roster spots, perhaps at the expense of a player that has been on the Sharks for several seasons.
“There are jobs here to be had,” DeBoer said on Sep. 23. “If there isn’t room, Doug will make room if you’re good enough to help us.”
For better or for worse, literally none of them made it.
On Tuesday morning, the Sharks reassigned forwards Nikolay Goldobin, Barclay Goodrow and Kevin Labanc and defenseman Mirco Mueller to the AHL Barracuda, beginning the season with virtually the same roster they finished the Stanley Cup Final with along with veteran offseason additions Mikkel Boedker and David Schlemko.
The 13th forward currently is Micheal Haley, a 30-year-old that brings a physical element and can drop the gloves when necessary, while the seventh defenseman is Dylan DeMelo, who established himself as an NHL player in DeBoer’s eyes last season.
Aaron Dell, a 27-year-old minor league journeyman, will apparently get his first shot at the NHL as the backup to Martin Jones, although there was a report as recently as Sunday that the Sharks were searching for a more experienced NHL goaltender.
Timo Meier, the young player that had the best chance to make the roster on opening night, is out for at least the next several weeks as he recovers from mononucleosis. He will almost certainly have to start his pro career in the AHL when he recovers.
NHL rosters are officially due to the league at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. The Sharks have 23 players total remaining on their roster.
Forwards (14): Mikkel Boedker, Logan Couture, Joonas Donskoi, Micheal Haley, Tomas Hertl, Melker Karlsson, Patrick Marleau, Timo Meier (injured), Matt Nieto, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Chris Tierney, Joel Ward, Tommy Wingels.
Defense (7): Justin Braun, Brent Burns, Dylan DeMelo, Brenden Dillon, Paul Martin, David Schlemko, Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Goaltender (2): Aaron Dell, Martin Jones.
The Sharks' season begins on Wednesday at home against the Kings.