SAN JOSE — The 2019 offseason saga continues for the San Jose Sharks. Just one day after re-signing Erik Karlsson, general manager Doug Wilson and the San Jose front office have traded career Shark, and popular teammate Justin Braun to the Philadelphia Flyers for a 2019 second round pick, and a 2020 third round pick. Wilson continues to make out like a bandit in every trade he makes.
This trade was inevitable. While Braun was a popular player in the Sharks dressing room and historically pretty productive on the ice, the writing was on the wall for the veteran blue liner for a few reasons:
First and foremost, the Sharks need to find a way to create more cap room. They were reportedly only working with $12.5 million after the Karlsson deal. Despite some chatter, re-signing captain Joe Pavelski is priority 1A to Karlsson’s 1 for that front office.
Pavelski is in line for a pretty significant raise as he scored 38 goals last season. He will likely cut the Sharks some slack, but only up to a certain point. This trade does that. It creates roughly four million dollars to give the Sharks some wiggle room to re-up Pavelski, and extend Timo Meier, who is in his restricted free agency year. They also now can bring back a guy like Tim Heed, or extend Joakim Ryan on cheaper deals.
The draft pick compensation is a nice cherry on the top. The Sharks had virtually no draft picks in this year’s draft. Before today they didn’t have a first, second, or fourth round pick in 2019. They now net the 41st pick in this year’s draft, and they recoup a third rounder next season which was traded as part of the Gustav Nyquist deal (another UFA who will likely be gone).
This isn’t the last cap crunching move the Sharks will be making this offseason. One or two other smaller moves are likely on the horizon, maybe clearing the contracts of Melker Karlsson or Aaron Dell to create more of a cushion to bring back core guys, and have money on the side if and when Joe Thornton decides to come back.
Also, don’t be shocked if there is one more big move up Wilson’s sleeve. He hasn’t been one to shy away from the major move in recent years, and if there is anything the Sharks have proven, its that they will do close to anything to contend for the greatest trophy in all of sports.