A look at this season’s free agent list for the WorSharks

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


With the off-season for the San Jose Sharks and Worcester Sharks coming far too soon for fans’ tastes, the focus now goes to the draft and free agency. Below is a list of free agents that spent time on the WorSharks roster this season and what this writer thinks the chances are they’ll be back in the organization next season.

NHL UFA
Ben Guite – While we’d like to see what Guite could do over a whole season without being injured the fact is he isn’t what the WorSharks really need. They need play makers and goal scorers, and Guite just doesn’t do either of those things very well. He was one of the better players Worcester had this season, which in itself explains why the team failed to make the playoffs. Fans probably wouldn’t mind if he was back here next season though.
Will he be back: Probably not

John McCarthy – McCarthy is an unrestricted free agent because he fell into the Group VI category, so unless San Jose is going to give the WorSharks leading point scorer a serious look next season there likely is little reason the Sharks will be bringing him back. He’s a solid AHL second liner, but unfortunately because of a lack of goal scorers in Worcester he was forced to play top line minutes. He does not have NHL top-6 upside.
Will he be back: Probably not

Mike Moore – Moore is everything an AHL team wants, a solid player that’s a great leader on and off the ice. But what Moore wants is a legitimate shot at the NHL, which is something he’s not going to get in the San Jose organization. After four full seasons here he’s certainly earned the right to move on to give himself a better shot at his dream.
Will he be back: Almost no chance

Andrew Murray – Murray was originally signed to play for the WorSharks but made San Jose’s roster out of camp. Were it not for the Sharks deciding to give guys like Tommy Wingels and Benn Ferriero a serious look Murray would likely have spent the entire season in San Jose. He was pretty good while in Worcester until a concussion ended his season. Murray will most certainly be looking for a full time NHL contract next season, and San Jose probably will be looking elsewhere.
Will he be back: Doubtful

Antero Niittymaki – The less said the better.
Will he be back: Not a chance

NHL RFA
Benn Ferriero – Ferriero was given his shot in San Jose and apparently didn’t impress as he wasn’t in the line-up after playing March 20th in Los Angeles. Ferriero doesn’t have the skill set to play on an NHL third or fourth line and doesn’t have the talent to be a top six forward. Worcester fans would sure like him back, but that’s probably not enough.
Will he be back: Unlikely

Matt Irwin – The second year defenseman started off on a hot streak but cooled as the season progresses, and seemed to regress a little bit after his brief recall to San Jose. There’s just way too much upside on Irwin to let him walk away for nothing.
Will he be back: Probably

Tim Kennedy – As the player returned in the Sullivan deal Kennedy gave the offense a must needed shot in the arm when he got here. He’s the kind of player where in the first half of the game you wonder why he’s not in the NHL, and in the second half you realize why. San Jose will probably want to give him a chance next season to show what he can do, but it will likely be just one chance.
Will he be back: Probably

Tony Lucia – Lucia lost a lot of the last two seasons with concussion issues, but when he played he was certainly good enough for San Jose to give him another season to show what he can do with a full healthy season. But he’s probably only going to get one chance to show he can play and stay healthy for a full season.
Will he be back: Likely

Cam MacIntyre – The oft injured MacIntyre was signed to a two year one way NHL contract without ever playing a single NHL game, and after playing just 66 AHL games over the last two seasons it’s now fair to call MacIntyre a bust. Because he was a free agent player San Jose didn’t lose anything but salary on him, and I can’t see the financially conscious Sharks putting another dollar into this project.
Will he be back: Unlikely

James Marcou – Like Lucia, Marcou has lost most of the last two season with concussion issues. But unlike Lucia Marcou was mostly ineffective when he did play, performing decently on the power play but was basically invisible at even strength. Since most of the game is played at even strength that’s a huge issue. His lack of size and inability to play any type of physical game is a huge issue at the pro level. Unless San Jose is looking for a power play specialist in Worcester he’ll be looking for a job over the summer
Will he be back: Unlikely

Brandon Mashinter – For Mashinter it depends on which one decides is going to show up. Is it the one that wants to be a power forward and battle in front of the net, or is it the one that fancies himself a goal scorer and doesn’t go to the net very often and shoots from all over the ice? We’ll take the power forward Mashinter, but the goal scorer Mashinter isn’t good enough to bother with. He has too much upside to cut loose right now.
Will he be back: Probably

Frazer McLaren – McLaren has some real issues due to mixed messages from the organization. In Worcester he’s supposed to be penalty killing third/fourth liner that gets a regular shift and fights a little, in San Jose he’s supposed to be a fourth line enforcer that doesn’t play hardly at all and play the enforcer role. What the organization ended up with is a kid that doesn’t know what his job is supposed to be and is now not good at any of them.
Will he be back: Long shot at best

Matt Pelech – Simply put, Pelech is the type of player every minor league team needs to have. Solid player on the ice, great person in the locker room. He’s the kind of player young draft picks can learn a lot from to help in their development, and in an organization that believes in “draft and develop” that kind of asset is mandatory. It’s been obviously lacking the last couple of seasons.
Will he be back: It’s probably 50/50, but if San Jose was smart they’d do everything within reason to re-sign him.

Nick Petrecki – After starting the season looking like an NHL defenseman Petrecki took some giant steps backwards in his development by committing the same dumb penalties that plagued his first two seasons. Petrecki also stumbled in other areas of his game that lead to him being a healthy scratch several times this season. To be blunt, he should be paying attention to how Matt Pelech goes about his business on the ice.
Will he be back: Probably, as a first round pick SJ is going to give him every chance it can to pan out.

Tyson Sexsmith – Sexsmith came into camp and was hard to recognize both on and off the ice as he was totally healthy for the first time in his pro career. He finally looked like the goaltender he was supposed to be, but it may be a case of “too little, too late” as San Jose has another goaltender entering the organization and there’s only room to sign one RFA goaltender and the Sharks have two.
Will he be back: That’s the big question over the summer, this writer is guessing no.

James Sheppard – He did virtually nothing in his conditioning stint here, but there’s no way San Jose cuts him loose after acquiring him last season knowing getting him on the ice in an NHL game was a long shot at best.
Will he be back: Virtually guaranteed

Alex Stalock – With a near miraculous comeback from a career threatening nerve injury to his leg Stalock appears to have made a full comeback in the few games he played this season. The problem is he played some of those games for another organization, which is usually a sign that player isn’t part of his own team’s plans. But this case might be different.
Will he be back: That’s the big question over the summer, this writer is guessing yes.

Tommy Wingels – Wingels was great for Worcester and was solid in his season end stint in San Jose. There isn’t a chance the Sharks don’t try to bring him back next season.
Will he be back: Absolutely

AHL UFA
Jimmy Bonneau – Goons are usually a dime-a-dozen type of player, but the WorSharks may have found one that’s worthy of keeping around for another season. Bonneau is one of the true heavyweights in the AHL, and while no one will compare him to Mario Lemieux he can certainly play enough to not hurt the team while he’s on the ice. Plus most enforcers don’t wear an “A”, but Bonneau did. That speaks volumes.
Will he be back: Like Pelech it’s probably 50/50, but if the WorSharks were smart they’d do everything within reason to re-sign him

Jack Combs – After joining the WorSharks mid-season Combs was on a scoring pace not seen in these parts in a long time. But as the season continued on Combs pace evened out a little, but he remained one of their best offensive threats. With virtually no defensive abilities Combs is the kind of player that will make his money in Europe, and that’s probably where he’s headed after this campaign.
Will he be back: Likely not

Yanni Gourde – The kid played just three games on an amateur try-out and made on thing very clear: he can flat out play. If fans don’t hear of Gourde signing an NHL contract over the summer they seriously need to question the scouting abilities of their organization.
Will he be back: Virtually guaranteed

Ryan Del Monte – He was the standard ECHL “filler” in an AHL line-up. He’s not bad, but he’s hit his ceiling. he can kill penalties, but that’s not such a rare skill that is means he’ll be back next season.
Will he be back: Likely not

Nathan Moon – A solid AHL player in the mold of Andrew Desjardins. He likely earned an NHL contract with his play during the season, and with lots of open slots San Jose has ample opportunity to give him a chance.
Will he be back: Probably

Brain O’Hanley – When the WorSharks ended up a little short on defense they dipped into the ECHL for O’Hanley, who was signed to an AHL contract for the best reason a player could be: Worcester knew he wouldn’t be available if they needed him again. San Jose is probably going to have a glut of defenseman again to start the season, only this time around O’Hanley will not be available if needed as some other organization will surely be grabbing him over the summer.
Will he be back: Likely not

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