The San Jose Sharks veered away from any major trades at the deadline on Monday, opting instead for several minor moves, bidding farewell to several role players.
The Sharks made three separate trades on Monday involving five players, announcing them within a span of 90 minutes. Out are Andrew Desjardins, Tyler Kennedy, and Freddie Hamilton; in are Karl Stollery and Ben Smith.
Desjardins was traded to the Blackhawks for Smith and a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2017. Desjardins has spent parts of the last five seasons with the Sharks. He has been a constant on the fourth line, which the Sharks have not gotten a lot out of this season.
Perhaps swapping Desjardins, an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, with Smith, who has a year left on his contract, is a win-win situation for the Sharks.
Smith, 26, has five goals and four assists in 61 games this season. He broke out last year with 14 goals; the Sharks will definitely take an added scoring punch to their bottom two lines.
The other player exchange came with the Avalanche, who the Sharks dealt defenseman Freddie Hamilton for Karl Stollery. Hamilton, once considered one of the Sharks’ top prospects, never stuck in the NHL and did not record a point in 12 games over two seasons with the Sharks.
Stollery, at 27, is four years older than Hamilton, and has also not recorded a point in seven career NHL games.
Kennedy was traded to the Islanders for a conditional seventh-round pick, a large loss of value considering the Sharks acquired him from the Penguins for a second-round pick prior to last season. Mired by injuries and inconsistent play, Kennedy did not fit in with the Sharks’ plans, recording nine points in 25 games this season.
Kennedy is also an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so the Sharks cut their losses and picked up some value for the winger.
The flurry of activity came one day after San Jose sent James Sheppard to the Rangers for a fourth-round draft pick on Sunday.
Additionally, Tye McGinn, who had five points in 33 games this season, was picked up on waivers by the Coyotes.
In all, the Sharks shipped away five players and acquired two. With Smith expected to join the active roster and Chris Tierney recalled from Worcester, that leaves two open spots and opportunities for the Sharks to take a look at their youngsters.
The season is far from over; the Sharks are just two points back of the Kings for third in the division and a spot in the playoffs. But if the many trade deadline departures are any indication, the Sharks must first prove that they are capable of reversing their downward trend.