Over the last decade, the San Jose Sharks have been one of the best teams in the NHL. In fact, the Sharks haven’t missed the playoffs since the 2002-2003 NHL season. But now, the Sharks are coming off a season where they were ousted in round one of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Kings, losing the series 4-3 after getting out to a 3-0 lead. The Sharks are not doing much better this season. With a 30-23-8 record, they sit 10th in the Western Conference, and currently are not in a playoff spot. With recent struggles, it has left questions of if the Sharks should just jump ship and rebuild. The answer to that question, is yes.
By rebuilding, the Sharks would be committing to getting younger, and trading off their older players in order to do so. As sad as it may be, that includes Sharks legends Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton. Marleau, 35, was drafted by the Sharks 2nd overall in 1997, and has been a cornerstone on the team ever since, scoring 449 goals in over 1,300 games with the team. Thornton, also 35, was also in the 1997 draft, one-upping Marleau being drafted 1st overall by the Boston Bruins. Thornton would later be traded to the Sharks in the 2005-2006 season, going on to win an MVP and assisting in 606 goals since joining the team. While these two have accomplished many feats since becoming Sharks, they are each due over $6.6 million over the next three seasons, and could bring in big trade value should the Sharks trade them. With how expensive these two will cost, it would be in the Sharks best interest to trade them, letting younger stars Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski take over as the leaders of the team, and let young players such as Tomas Hertl get more time on the ice.
While Thornton and Marleau will forever be Sharks legends, it is time to move on from them and other veterans on the team in order to begin a new era in Sharks hockey.