The Western Conference is ripe for a trade deadline arms race given the tight races at both the very top of the standings and playoff bubble, and Eastern Conference teams have a lot to sell. One of those assets for sale is Pittsburgh Penguins forward Derick Brassard, who hasn’t been a fit since he arrived and is almost surely to be sent out of town in the next few weeks. It isn’t clear where the veteran center will be headed, but Elliotte Friedman did suggest on Sportsnet radio today that the San Jose Sharks have “checked in” on Brassard. Friedman notes that the Sharks will be looking for an addition that can play in the middle of the ice.
It hasn’t been a secret that the Sharks will be active at the deadline once again. Earlier this month GM Doug Wilson indicated that he would be open to pursuing rentals again even after sending so many assets out to acquire Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson over the last year. The Sharks sit in second place in the Pacific Division but should already be considered a Stanley Cup contender, something that they might not be able to say a few years down the road.
If there is any team that could see their core group deteriorate quickly it might be San Jose. The team is currently relying on players like Joe Pavelski (34 years old) and Joe Thornton (39) up front, while already giving out long-term deals to Brent Burns (33) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (31). While those players may be primed for a Cup run this season, three years from now the Sharks might be a very different animal. That’s not to say the team will definitely decline, but the front office has obviously realized that this could be their best chance to win and will do everything they can to compete this season.