It’s becoming a lost season at an incredible rate for the San Jose Sharks, and it’s also becoming clear they just aren’t mean to raise Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Entering Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Wild, the San Jose Sharks sat 10 points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. With the trade deadline less than 10 days away now, and without top forwards Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, the Sharks are a clear seller.
Defenseman Erik Karlsson suffered an undisclosed injury during Friday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, and he was placed on the injured reserve list. That meant he would miss at least the next three games, but the team quickly announced Karlsson will miss the rest of the season with a broken left thumb. Hertl, who suffered a torn ACL and MCL late last month, is also out for the season.
Couture may be able to return soon from the fracture ankle he suffered on Jan. 7. But the Sharks will now be losing winger Evander Kane for a bit, as he was suspended three games for an elbowing incident Friday night. Kane aired his grievances after news of the suspension came.
The Sharks are loaded with expensive veterans on long-term contracts, and the Ottawa Senators own their first round pick this year via the trade for Karlsson in September of 2018. That leaves general manager Doug Wilson with little to maneuver with as the trade deadline nears.
The Sharks have been a playoff regular, reaching the Western Conference Finals just last year with a peak of reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2016. But that’s the franchise’s only Cup Final appearance, and a next run that deep in the playoffs feels very far away right now.
A win-now window was pushed with some acquisitions and contract signings over the last few years. But that window seems to slamming shut on the Sharks, faster than they could have anticipated.