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Sharks GM: Boyle, Havlat not returning; Burns returning to defense

May 15, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT

Doug Wilson AP

It didn’t take long for the San Jose Sharks to start making decisions on the roster for next season.

Sharks GM Doug Wilson spoke on a conference call with the media today and said the team would not bring back defenseman Dan Boyle or forward Martin Havlat next season, as Kevin Kurz of shares. While Boyle is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, Havlat has one more year left on his contract with a $5 million cap hit.

Presumably the Sharks will try to trade Havlat, but if they can’t find a taker the team still has both of its compliance buyouts.

Wilson also added that Brent Burns would be moved back to defense. With Boyle out of the picture, moving the puck-moving Burns back on the blue line makes sense. He spent the past season and a half playing forward and scored 22 goals this season.

The only surprising news out of this is Burns moving back to defense. While the Sharks gave extensions to Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, the 37-year-old Boyle was left out of the mix.

Havlat dealt with injury problems this season and appeared to fall out of favor with coach Todd McLellan as he played on the fourth line when was in the lineup. Even though Havlat’s agent Allan Walsh said his client was happy in San Jose in November, the team is moving on without him regardless.

  1. bwayblueshirt - May 15, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Still haven’t fixed the biggest hole in their line-up: the 5-hole.

    • rauhj - May 15, 2014 at 7:36 PM

      It’s gonna be Stalock’s team next year. He is more dynamic and quicker than Niemi and tons better behind the net in getting the puck out to his teammates. His aggressiveness puts the opposing teams on their heels and he’s got to be great to play behind.

  2. sharksfan754 - May 15, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    This could lead to Kennedy getting more playing time, or as I think, he’ll be the next one let go. Like both of these moves so far.

    • btlpper68 - May 15, 2014 at 7:09 PM

      I pray he isn’t back 2.5m is so valuable in today’s nhl

  3. cameltoews - May 15, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the rangers make a play for Boyle. He has been linked to them every trade deadline and the rangers are always looking for a puck moving defenseman who can quarterback the power play. I rarely ever see him play so does anyone know if he is still a viable option for a team or is he on his way out?

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 15, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      Hasn’t been the same since the concussion

    • sanfranbruinsfan - May 16, 2014 at 4:53 AM

      Props for having the best handle on pht

  4. ethanmacleod1685 - May 15, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    As a sharks fan, I’ll be sad to see Boyle go 😦

    • skr213 - May 15, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      As a Sharks fan, I won’t. Much respect and appreciation for his time here, but there’s no question he’s got to go.

      • rauhj - May 15, 2014 at 7:34 PM

        You are right on it. Appreciate his contributions but he is done; need to get younger and grittier. Boyle made too many mistakes this last year and is noticeably slowing down.

  5. norcalsportsknowledge - May 15, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    Line 1 : Pavelski/Hertl/Couture
    Line 2 : Nieto/Thorton/Marleau
    Line 3 : (new guy)/Sheppard/Wingels
    Line 4 : Burish?/Dejadins/Torres
    Blue line
    1 : Vlassic/( new guy-Best shut down d-man they can get!-This guy gets them cup!!!)
    2 : Braun/Burns
    3 : Stuart?(not a fan)/Demers?(at rt $)
    Extra : Brown

    Play next year w/out Captain- someone needs to step up and earn it next yr!

    Trade Niemi/Irwin/1st rd pick/picks for top shutdown D-man!!!- trade Kennedy for anything u can get w/out taking $ back.

    • smarshall3789 - May 15, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      Are you high that’s a terrible idea and I’m not even a sharks can

    • moneymike1425 - May 16, 2014 at 4:02 AM

      Those are TERRIBLE lines and ideas… WOW!!!!!!!

    • lordfletcher - May 16, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      Out of that entire ramble you need to understand that teams do not just simply trade pure #1 shut down dmen.

      Your offer is low, incredibly low. Do remember that philly tried to out buy Weber and or give up four first round picks for him…..

    • gohawks7 - May 16, 2014 at 6:36 PM

      Stuart??? He should have been let go the day after game 7. He can’t think on his feet fast enough and makes the biggest bonehead plays when it matters most….

  6. billiam55 - May 15, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    whens niemi leaving?

    • rauhj - May 15, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      Soon enough weedhopper…..

  7. billiam55 - May 15, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    whens niemi leaving?

  8. howintensive - May 15, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Boyle to Detroit?

    • rbbbaron - May 15, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      Washed-up veteran talent with bloated cap hit? Holland’s all over it!

    • pjblake2redwings - May 16, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      God I hope not.. We are already going to be resigning Alfie if he wants to come back.. no need for another over the hill player. Most likely we are getting Niskanen once Pitt lets him hit FA

  9. sjsharks66 - May 15, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    So happy that Havlat will be gone. Actually very sad to hear about Boyle. Burns to defense is an okay decision also… I really liked how he played with Joe for most of the season though.

  10. sharksman - May 15, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Burns to defense should be a no brainer, that’s why we got him in the first place
    Havlet gone duh
    Boyle is on the decline and wants one last payday
    So now you have to get rid of kennedy and hopefully find someone to fill in on the top line and who knows if the right player comes around they might trade 12 or 19….
    still work to be done
    Go Sharks

  11. Professor Fate - May 15, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    If Havlat has a year left on his contract why would you reduce any possible trade value by declaring him history? What am I missing here? Are the Sharks admitting they know they won’t find any takers for that $5 million contract and will just buy him out?

  12. justintimezone - May 15, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Seems like the Havlat Heatley straight up trade was a lose lose for both the Sharks and the Wild.

    • in1chuck1we1trust - May 16, 2014 at 12:54 AM

      Not really. While #50in07 slowed down considerably, he contributed where he could and accepted his role on 3rd & 4th line like a pro. What makes this a better deal for the Wild? Heater comes off the books this season, freeing up $7+ million in cap space without having to find a trade partner or using a buyout.

  13. jovocop2112 - May 15, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    I’d love to see Boyle back in Bolts Blue…. say that last part 5 times fast

    • smarterthantheauthor - May 16, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      Word! Time to come back to where he won a cup and retire a Bolt!

  14. johnmr12 - May 15, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    I thought Burns was one of the Shark’s best forwards. He better be one hell of a defenseman.

  15. bcisleman - May 15, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    Both players might be good pickups for the Isles. Boyle could fill in as RH offensive D until Pulock is ready and Havlat would make a OK Plan B if Garth is unable to snag a bigtime player like Evander Kane.

  16. chitown26 - May 15, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    Boyle was awesome for the Sharks, sad to see him go. Hope he gets a shot at a cup, he’s an all around great guy and great leader.

    Burns never really panned out at forward. I’ve seen it a few times now – whoever plays with Thornton for a little while gets Joe excited and he plays amazing and makes great plays to get them the puck. Then Joe gets bored and stops trying and the player drops off. It’s happened with Cheechoo, and now Burns. Moving him back makes sense, and let him jump up when the time is right.

    Havlat is made of glass. ‘Nuff said.

    Niemi + a pick for a top tier puck mover (Letang?) makes a lot of sense. Time to move on, he’s too slow and has zero puck movement skills. The Sharks would benefit from a young, tough puck moving defenseman.

    Too bad they sprang those contracts for Joe and Patty this year. I’d actually keep Marleau – he’s been showing up and playing half-way decent in the playoffs the last few years. Joe Thornton however doesn’t elevate his game in the playoffs and therefor is not a good piece of a cup winning puzzle. He’s gotta go.

    Cotoure, Pavelski, Nieto, and Hertl are the future of this franchise. That’s a pretty bright future, to be honest.

    • faulkingallstar - May 15, 2014 at 11:58 PM

      Completely agree although im not sure the pens would be all to keen on picking up another goalie who underperforms in the playoffs. As for Marleau, I think he is wrongly accused of being a choker, he has scored plently of OT playoff goals and managed to pick up 7 points this playoffs playing with a rookie and Couture (who is supposed to be clutch) yet only managed 3 pts. Joe on the other hand , I cant remember the last time he has made an important play in crunch time in a big playoff game. The sharks definantly need a new leader before the younger stars pick up jumbos choking habbits and one who can give the team a kick in the a** when they need it.

  17. faulkingallstar - May 15, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    a good start, still getting rid of a guy who was scratched for most of the playoffs and guys who is almost 40 isn’t good enough. And its not like either one of those two guys were responsible for the collapse. Still have to get rid of Jumbo, Stuart, Hannan and Niemi. I love Thornton but enough is enough. For almost ten years now this team has changed its secondary scoring over and over basically letting Joe off the hook but I think I’ve personally realized now that he is in no way shape or form a clutch player and probably never will be. He is almost completely ineffective against smothering defenses and can only make plays when he has time and space which is not a recipe for success come playoff time.

    • tdaveniii - May 16, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      • gohawks7 - May 16, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        Even a broken watch is right twice a day….

  18. mjw9326mjw9326 - May 16, 2014 at 7:18 AM

    Amazed that they still keep the coach and GM after all these playoff failures. I would think they need to do more than dump two guys to fix that team. Too much coasting when it counts.

  19. earpaniac - May 16, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    I love reading the end of year fan trade suggestions. You are on some good chemicals if you think Niemi and a pick will get you Letang.

  20. gohawks7 - May 16, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Hopefully this is only the start. Unfortunately, Wilson is the biggest problem and it’s obvious now that part won’t be dealt with.

    Above everything…the biggest needs for this team are:

    1) Toughness – how many times in the past 10 years has a playoff series that seemed to be in the Shark’s control turn on a dime when the opponent ups the physical play and the Sharks put their tails between their legs and wilt away.

    2) Pride/Unity – What happen to Vlasic and the Shark’s response to it was EMBARRASSING. Stoll should have been knocked on his ass the very next shift….take the 2, 4, or 5 minute penalty and move on. But nobody came to his defense the entire series.

    3) Pressure players – The Sharks have NOBODY who wants to be the guy with the puck on their stick when the team needs them. Too many shots are weakly wristed into the goalie’s chest (Marleau!) or shots are passed up in favor of making a bad pass. Get somebody who can handle the pressure and step up!!!!

  21. norcalsportsknowledge - May 16, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Teams don’t usually trade top 5 blueliners like Weber, but sharks might b able to get a top 10. Niemi and Irwin have trade value, 2 first rd picks r worth a lot, but your probably right, they’ll probably have to add a Nieto/Mueller or both to get a shutdown defensemen. Then they can keep Irwin and pair him w/Demers and get rid of Stuart. Letang’s a nice player but sharks need a shutdown guy, not a goal scoring blueliner. They’ll have that in Burns. Don’t b surprised when u see Pavs/Hertl/Couture line next yr.

  22. tundra67 - May 16, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Two years ago, at the end of the playoffs I was sure it was Marleau that had to go. But I’ve come to think he was having some trouble re-adjusting to having the “C” taken off and being put (mostly) on the 2nd line. Now that he is acclimated, and playing with Couture, his high level of play has returned and he has been quite consistent, and pretty darn clutch at many points. He should retire a Shark.

    Up until now, I have been willing to give Thornton a pass. At most points of elimination, the goaltending and depth on the 3rd/s 4ths or defense was not sufficient to hold up for 3-4 series. Sure, for 1 or 2, or even most of 3 series, if the offense was timely and on a real hot streak. Or if Nabby/Niemi stole a game or two.

    But now that the depth overall on the team is better, it looks (to me) more like a specific problem w/Joe. He just will not go to the dirty areas much – floats around at the edge more often than not.
    He does not have that “I’m going to dominate this opponent, score a goal tonight, and carry this team forward no matter what” mentality. Yes, he works really hard and has great skill. He’s among the greatest set-up guys the league has ever seen, and Hall of Fame player in my book. But more and more it looks like he will be a Dan Marino type – never quite able to get over the top, or lead guys over the top to the prize.

    Trade him now, (providing the no-trade is not iron-clad >> as Wilson suggests above), and get what you can for him. Probably make Couture the captain, Vlasic of course as one of the “A”s. Drop Havlat and Boyle (as they are doing) and a couple more like Hannan, bring up Mirco Mueller, and go from there …

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