Sharks Offseason: Kane Accused, Jones Bought Out, Reimer Returns

Evander Kane (7) seen here skating against the Arizona Coyotes on March 26, 2021 has said his wife’s accusations that he bet on hockey are false. The NHL taking the charges serious are investigating to see if there is any proof that Kane did bet on hockey. (AP file photo)

By Mary Walsh

San Jose Sharks forward, Evander Kane, has been accused by his wife of betting on hockey games, including those he played in. She made the accusations by way of her Instagram account. Last Saturday, the NHL released a statement saying that they would investigate the charges. They said, in part: “The integrity of our game is paramount and the League takes these allegations very seriously. We intend to conduct a full investigation and will have no further comment at this time.”

The Sharks also responded to the charges, saying that they were in contact with the NHL about the allegations, and that they “support a full and transparent investigation into the situation to maintain the integrity of the game and consistency with our team values.”

Kane released his own statement denying the charges:

“Unfortunately, I would like to address the completely FALSE accusations that my estranged wife and soon to be ex wife has made against me. Even against the advice of my legal team I feel strongly that the public and fans hear this directly from me. I have NEVER gambled/bet on Hockey, NEVER gambled/bet on a Sharks game, NEVER GAMBLED/BET on any of my games and NEVER thrown a hockey game. The facts are I personally had my best season of my career last year and was the most consistent I’ve been throughout any season, I’m proud of that. I love the game of Hockey and would never do any of what was alleged. I look forward to cooperating with the league’s investigation, having my name cleared and looking forward to this upcoming season.”

Earlier in 2021, Kane publicly acknowledged that he had a serious gambling problem, and he filed for bankruptcy. The filing triggered a number of law suits from creditors. Despite those numerous investigations into his financial situation, this is the first time we have heard anyone seriously charge that he was betting on his own games.

In other offseason news from the Sharks, the team bought out goaltender Martin Jones’s contract. Jones quickly signed a one year dealwith the Philadelphia Flyers.

On July 28, the Sharks signed veteran goaltender James Reimer to a two-year contract. Reimer played 22 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season, posting a 2.66 GAA and .906 save percentage. Reimer was with the Sharks in 2016 for their trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Earlier in the month, San Jose acquired goaltender Adin Hill from Arizona, along with a 2022 seventh-round pick, in exchange for Josef Korenar and a 2022 second-round pick.

The Sharks also added center Nick Bonino on a two-year contract and center Andrew Cogliano on a one-year deal.

On July 26, the Sharks traded defenseman Christian Jaros to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Nicholas Merkley. Merkley signed a one-year, two way contract on July 28.

Forward Alexander True was the Shark selected by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.

Sharks Season Ends With 6-0 Loss to Vegas, Head into Pivotal Offseason

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Keegan Kolesar scores, right, is congratulated by left wing William Carrier (28) as the San Jose Sharks goaltender Alexei Melnchuk is spread eagle in front of the net (AP News photo)

By Matthew Harrington

It was a forgettable ending to a forgettable season for the San Jose Sharks, falling to the Vegas Golden Knights 6-0 at home. Marc-Andre Fleury shut out the Sharks on just 19 shots, Dylan Sikura scored a pair, and Alex Pietrangelo, Keegan Kolesar, William Carrier and Jonathan Marchessault all scored for the Golden Knights. Vegas finishes their season 82 points( including sweeping the season series against San Jose), sitting two points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for the President’s Trophy with one game remaining for general manager Joe Sakic’s team. San Jose has missed the postseason for a second consecutive season after missing out on the expanded Bubble playoffs last season, not necessarily an unexpected result, but disappointing nonetheless.

“This organization had to take a step back to take a step forward,” said Sharks coach Bob Boughner when asked to reflect on the season. “I know that’s a bit of a cliché but that’s the absolute truth. There was a path set out early on, that started last year at the trade deadline, last hockey season. We had to live through it this year. I really believe moving forward it will be a different situation, a different set of expectations.”

The Sharks finish the season with 49 points and a 21-28-7 record, 11 points shy of the St. Louis Blues (who could add still with a game remaining on their schedule) for the last playoff spot in the West Division. While the loss brings finality to a difficult season, most questions about the team’s future remain.

“We talked about our journey and where we need to be in September when we come back to work,” said Boughner. “I talked about the young guys getting the opportunities and not expecting a job when they get back to camp. They’ve got to earn it again. The veterans, the last message I sent was ‘We can’t get anywhere as an organization if those players aren’t our best players every night. That didn’t happen every night this season.”

Wednesday night Patrick Marleau played 13:01 in the final game of his 23rd season. He finished the year with 9 points in 56 games, another season without missing a game. He played the central role in the Sharks greatest achievement on the season, appearing in career game 1,767 to match Gordie Howe for all-time games played April 17th in Minnesota.

He broke the record the following Monday in Sin City. He was on a one-year contract and hasn’t hinted if he’ll return at age 42 to add on to his 910-game Iron Man streak. If not, the Sharks 2nd overall selection in 1997 would walk away from the game with 522 goals and 589 assists over 21 seasons with the Sharks and career totals of 566 goals and 631 helpers when you add in his stints with Toronto and Pittsburgh, a surefire Hall of Fame career

Who will the expansion Seattle Kraken take in their player selection draft in the offseason? The favorite is Brent Burns who wrapped up his season with a -2 over 22:49 of ice time. He finished the season with 29 points (7g, 22a) over 56 games. He has 540 points over 715 games in teal.

Even the Sharks best player, Evander Kane, has a murky future. There has been talk about nullifying his contract mutually as he works through bankruptcy. He finished the campagin with 22 goals and 27 assists (matching a career high) and would have surely eclipsed his best single-season totals in a full-length campaign.

Alexei Melnichuk made 38 saves in just his second career NHL start. The import from the KHL Melnichuk with the Barracuda. Who will join Martin Jones at the NHL level will be the question in net, or rather one of the questions. If Jones returns or is bought out remains to be seen. He went 15-14-4 with a 3,27 GAA bolstered by a hot stretch in January where he looked like the goaltender the Sharks bet on for six years, $34.5 million for the 2018 season.

Among the bright spots for the Sharks is the fact that only one player missed time for a positive Covid-19 case in a year when teams saw their whole year derailed by widespread cases. This despite opening the year with training camp in Arizona with County health officers not permitting professional sports in Santa Clara until right around the Sharks delayed (by Covid, of course) home opener.

Also noteworthy were the jumps that second year pro Mario Ferraro and rookie Nikolai Knyzhov made on defense. Both were asked to represent their respective countries in this month’s world championships, though Knyzhov will miss it as he goes under the knife for a sports hernia. An offseason of more advancements by the young players mentioned above and others given opportunities will go a long way towards ending a two-season playoff drought.

On the upside, again, is that the Sharks own their own first round draft pick this year and could be selecting somewhere in the top ten in a draft deep in upper echelon talent at the top. They also took care of some business Wednesday morning, inking Alexander Barabanov to another one year deal at just a hair over $1 million. It’s a cap-friendly deal for a player that showed top-six talent (7 points in 8 games with San Jose) when given an opportunity to play big minutes after not getting a fair shake in stacked Toronto.

“We got to see some prospects,” said Boughner, reflecting on the season. “We went through a trade deadline, restocked the shelves. We got a guy like Barabanov. That was a positive. Being able to experience the (Patty) Marleau breaking the record was amazing. There were a lot of good things that happened along the way. I thought that our dressing room is a better room than it was in training camp. This is a good learning experience for everyone.”

San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro: Sharks close out season against Knights tonight in San Jose

The San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) comes off the bench to thank goaltender Josef Korenar (32) who was in goal on Mon Apr 26, 2021 for the win at SAP Center in San Jose against the Arizona Coyotes (photo from Bay Area News Group)

On the Sharks podcast with Len:

#1 The San Jose Sharks (21-27-7) will play their final game of the 2021 season with the Vegas Golden Knights (24-26-6) tonight at SAP season. The Sharks have lost their last five out of six games and were eliminated from the playoffs.

#2 The Sharks will bench their starting goaltender Martin Jones tonight is benching Jones an indication amongst the talk that Jones could be gone next season?

#3 For the second consecutive season since signing Erik Karlsson the Sharks who had given up players like Joe Pavelski, Justin Braun, and Joonas Donskoi the team failed to make the post season and the team will be going through changes this off season.

#4 Defenseman Brent Burns could be playing his last game as a Shark the Seattle Kraken are going to make their expansion choices from the different NHL teams and Burns could be one of those choices.

#5 For next season the Sharks have been taking a look and are considering goalies Josef Korenar and Alexei Melnichuk.

Len did the San Jose Sharks podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com during the 2021 season and is the former media relations manager for the former NHL California Golden Seals

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa: What goaltending changes will the Sharks make in the off season?

The San Jose Sharks Martin Jones (31) puts the stop on a shot by the Los Angeles Kings Trevor More (12) in the second period on Fri Apr 9, 2021 at SAP Center (AP News photo)

On the Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 The San Jose Sharks have lost four of their last five games losing the last two to the Arizona Coyotes on Friday and Saturday it pretty much has looked like the Sharks are using their younger players to see where their future lays.

#2 Mary Lisa, talk about the goaltending for the Sharks future it’s most likely Martin Jones will see his last game as a Shark on Wednesday night at SAP Center. Jones has played in the NHL for 11 years.

#3 Sharks back up goalie Josef Korenar last Friday allowed four goals and saw 33 shots against the Arizona Coyotes will Korenar have a future with the Sharks?

#4 Third Sharks goaltender Alexei Melnichuk stopped 27 shots and allowed five goals against the Arizona Coyotes on Sat May 8th in the Sharks 5-4 loss. Does Melnichuk have a future with the Sharks?

#5 Sharks conclude the season against the Vegas Golden Knights Wednesday night at 6:00pm what are some of the things to look for in this last game of the season for the Sharks?

Mary Lisa has covered Sharks hockey though out the 2020-21 season and will return next season for more Sharks coverage at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Fall 5-4 in OT to Coyotes

San Jose Sharks goaltender Alexei Melnichuk (1) puts the stop on the Arizona Coyotes center Lane Peterson’s (93) putting the puck on net in the second period at SAP Center in San Jose Sat May 8, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-4 in overtime to the Arizona Coyotes Saturday. For the Coyotes, it was the last game of the season. Arizona’s five goals came from Christian Dvorak (2), Jan Jenik, Conor Garland and Phil Kessel. Aiden Hill made 44 saves for the win. Rudolfs Balcers, Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier and Alexander Barabanov scored for the Sharks. Alexei Melnichuk made 27 saves in his first NHL start.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner was asked about Rudolfs Balcers. He said:

“He’s another young guy that has probably played, with the schedule, more hockey than he’s ever been used to. And you can tell that some of these guys are hitting a little bit of a wall, physically and mentally. You know, I think once Rudy goes back in the offseason and trains and puts on a little more muscle and comes back after three months or three and a half months, and gets a regular training camp, I think you’re going to see even a better Rudy. He’s made major strides.”

Christian Dvorak scored during some four-on-four time at 3:32 of the first period. After skating away from the Sharks defense, he made his way to the slot and put a shot over Melnichuk’s shoulder. Assists went to Phil Kessel and Oliver Ekman-Larssen.

Rudolfs Balcers tied the game at 6:44. Alexander Chmelesvki carried the puck in along the boards and found Balcers in the slot with a pass. Balcers took the shot and the puck snuck under Hill and trickled over the line. Assists went to Chmelevski and Dylan Gambrell.

Dvorak scored his second of the period on a power play at 11:36. Christian Fischer set Dvorak up with a pass from below the goal line. Dvorak’s shot went by Melnichuk’s glove and in. Assists went to Fischer and Phil Kessel.

Kevin Labanc tied it back up at 15:28. Labanc skated into the zone with the puck while Erik Karlsson drew some attention from the defense. Labanc took the shot above the face-off circle and the puck flew around a defenseman and past Hill, just inside the post.

The Sharks out-shot the Coyotes 19-8 in the first period. The Coyotes had one shot in two power plays, and the Sharks had one shot in one power play in the first period.

Timo Meier gave the Sharks a lead at 5:26 of the second period. Meier caught a pass for Kevin Labanc as he skated into the zone. Fending off Alex Goligoski with one arm while driving to the net, Meier skated in front of the blue paint and pushed the puck around the goalie. Labanc got the assist.

Jan Janik tied it up again with a shot from a bad angle. The puck went behind Melnichuck’s head and hit just inside the far post. Assists went to Christian Fischer and Victor Soderstrom.

The Coyotes out-shot the Sharks 17-14 in the second period. The Sharks’ power play had two shots on goal in the period.

Conor Garland gave the Coyotes another lead at 16:07 of the third period. Garland skated around the defense for a pass in front of the goal. He was able to tuck the puck over the line into the far side. Assists went to Goligoski and Jakob Chychrun.

Alexander Barabanov tied the game again with 49 seconds to go in regulation. With the net empty and an extra skater for the Sharks, Evander Kane sent the puck to Tomas Hertl at the net, and Hertl passed it over to Barabanov just above the goal line. Barabanov took a quick shot into an open net. Assists went to Hertl and Kane.

The Sharks out-shot the Coyotes 14-4 in the third period, and had two shots on one power play.

Phil Kessel scored the game winner 2:30 into overtime. Kessel intercepted Dylan Gambrell’s pass to Erik Karlsson in the neutral zone. He skated into the Sharks zone and put a shot under Melnichuk before the goalie knew where it was.

The Sharks will play their last game of the season on Wednesday in San Jose, against the visiting Vegas Golden Knights at 6:00 PM PT.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Matt Harrington: Sharks and Coyotes face off again tonight; Will Boughner go with younger players again?

The Arizona Coyotes kept San Jose Sharks goaltender Josef Korenar (32) very busy on Fri May 7, 2021 at SAP Center in San Jose scoring five goals and 29 shots on goal (AP News photo)

On San Jose Sharks podcast with Matt:

#1 The San Jose Sharks (21-27-6) had a 2-0 lead on Friday night at SAP Center only to lose it 5-2 to the Arizona Coyotes (23-26-6) the Coyotes tied it up the second period and had a burst in the third period with three goals.

#2 The Coyotes Phil Kessel scored his 900th career NHL point in the third period on a break away goal it’s got to be a honorary plateau for Coyotes veteran.

#3 Sharks goaltender Josef Korenar allowed five goals and saw 29 shots he’s had some rough games as back up is it a matter of getting more experience for Korenar or is he just simply getting overwhelmed in this call to the Sharks?

#4 Head coach Bob Boughner took at a look at some of his younger players of the future and said after the game, “They’re a little bit in and out, and then they’re still learning the ropes and how to come every night and prepare and be consistent at the NHL level.”

#5 Matt, same clubs tonight in game two of this two game series at SAP Center will Boughner play more of his rookies, young players and fourth line or will he insert some of the veterans to get after the Coyotes tonight.

Join Matt for the Sharks podcasts each Saturday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Fall 5-2 to Coyotes, Kessel Scores 900th Point

The Arizona Coyotes Phil Kessel (81) tries to quickly handle the puck against the San Jose Sharks Marc Edouard Vlasic (44) at the SAP Center in San Jose on Fri May 7, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks gave up a 2-0 lead to lose 5-2 to the Arizona Coyotes Friday. Phil Kessel scored his 900th NHL point in the game with a break-away goal in the third. Other Coyotes goals came from Victor Soderstrom, Conor Garland, Michael Bunting and Jan Jenik. Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves for the win. Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier scored for San Jose and Josef Korenar made 29 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked a little about what he had seen from the younger players during the last several games: “They’re a little bit in and out, and then they’re still learning the ropes and how to come every night and prepare and be consistent at the NHL level.” Boughner mentioned Noah Gregor, Rudolfs Balcers and Alexander Chmelevski as players in this category.

Erik Karlsson scored the only first period goal at 3:47. With some traffic in front of Kuemper, Karlsson took a shot from high in the slot. Tomas Hertl got an assist.

At the end of the first period, John Leonard fell, face-first, into the boards by the benches. After some attention from the trainer he was helped from the ice and into the dressing room. He did not return to the game. There were no specific updates about his condition after the game. Boughner did say that “he looked like he was in pretty rough shape,” during the first intermission.

The Sharks out-shot the Coyotes 9-6 in the first, with two of those coming on the power play.

The Sharks’ second goal came from Timo Meier off the rush with linemates Alexander True and Ivan Chekhovich. Meier took the shot from above the face-off dot for his 11th of the season at 3:30 of the second. Chekhovich earned his first NHL point, an assist in his second NHL game.

Victor Soderstrom cut into the Sharks’ lead, scoring for the Coyotes at 4:59. He took a shot into the far side of the net through traffic around the net. Assists went to olive Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland. It was Soderstrom’s first NHL goal.

Conor Garland tied the game at 4:59, during a 5-on-3 power play. Garland and Jakob Chychrun played catch across the ice before Garland slapped the puck past Korenar. Chychrun got the assist.

The Coyotes out-shot the Sharks 13-9 in the second period, with three of those coming on the power play. The Sharks had one power play that generated two shots.

Phil Kessel broke the tie 4:53 into the third period. Kessel was already behind the Sharks defense when Dvorak’s pass found him. He broke away and beat Korenar on the glove side. Assists went to Christian Dvorak and Alex Goligoski.

The Sharks seemed to have tied the game at 7:46 with another goal from Erik Karlsson but it was called back as an off-side play.

Michael Bunting gave Arizona a two-goal lead at 9:57. Evander Kane broke his stick on a shot and immediately had to hustle back to defend one-on-three. He was unable to give his goaltender much help. Conor Garland got an assist.

Jan Jenik made it 5-2 into an empty net, in the final second of the game. That was his first NHL goal, in his first NHL game.

The Coyotes out-shot the Sharks 15-10 in the third. In the face-off circle, the Sharks won 54% of the draws. Evander Kane had 6 shots on goal, and Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson each had five. For Arizona, Jakob Chychrun and Michael Bunting each had five shots.

The Sharks next play on Saturday, again in San Jose, against the Coyotes at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Defeat Avalanche 3-2, Hertl Scores Twice in 500th Game

The San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) celebrates scoring in the second period against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Phillipp Brubauer (31) at SAP Center in San Jose on Wed May 5, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won 3-2 after a tight game against the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday. The Sharks’ Tomas Hertl scored twice in his 500th NHL game and Erik Karlsson added the game winner on a power play. Josef Korenar made 30 saves for his third NHL win. Tyson Jost and Andre Burakovsky scored for Colorado, with Philipp Grubauer making 30 saves in the loss.

The first period was scoreless. Colorado took two penalties in the period, giving up six shots to the Sharks power play. The Sharks took one penalty and gave up two shots to the Avalanche power play. The shot count for the period was 12-10 Sharks. Colorado won 12 of 21 face-offs.

The second period was scoreless until the 15:39 mark. Tyson Jost scored the first goal of the game by picking up a rebound as he skated across the slot. His backhand shot went over Korenar as the goalie fell forward. Assists went to Patrik Nemeth and Jacob MacDonald.

Andre Burakovsky made it 2-0 at 18:18. Nazem Kadri’s pass found Burakowsky in the face-off circle and Burakowsky took a moment to pick his shot. It went by Korenar on the glove side. Kadri and Conor Timmins got the assists.

Tomas Hertl cut the Colorado lead in half with a goal in the final seconds of the period. Evander Kane carried the puck in and made a pass across the slot just as Hertl arrived at the net to deflect the puck in. Assists went to Kane and Alexander Barabanov.

The Sharks took the only penalty in the second period, but their penalty kill did not allow any shots. Colorado out-shot San Jose 16-9 in the second, but won just 9 of 20 face-offs.

Hertl tied the game at 2:50 of the third period. Evander Kane’s shot created a rebound as Hertl passed in front of the net. Hertl found the puck in his skates and then scooped it into the net while falling to his knees. Assists went to Kane and Nikolai Knyzhov.

Erik Karlsson scored on a power play at 9:18. After several shots form the same spot, and with Grubauer’s stick on the ice behind the net, Karlsson’s shot finally went in. Assists went to Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl.

Colorado took two penalties in the third period, giving up three shots to the Sharks power play. The Sharks out-shot the Avalanche 12-6 in the third and won 9 of 21 face-offs. In all, the Avalanche won 53% of the face-offs in the game.

The Sharks next play on Friday in San Joe against the Arizona Coyotes at 7:30 PM PT.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro: Kane being sued for $15 million from lender; Sharks close out four game home at home with Avs tonight

The San Jose Sharks Evander Kane who filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is being sue for $15 million by a lender (ESPN file photo)

On the Sharks podcast with Len:

#1 Len a lender has sued San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane for $15 million dollars involving Kane’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Kane has listed $10.2 in assets but is $26.8 million in debt. Kane’s gambling issues have been in some NHL headlines.

#2 The San Jose Sharks (20-26-5) played their last three games against the Colorado Avalanche (32-12-4) which all ended up in loses. The first of the three were play in Denver and in the first game Fri Apr 30th Avs goalie Phillpp Brubauer shutout the Sharks 3-0 with 21 saves.

#3 In the second game against the Avalanche in Denver on Sat May 1 the Avs just got by the Sharks 4-3 the Sharks went all out scoring twice in the third period only to be matched by the Avalanche’s two goals but fell short for the one goal loss

#4 To the Sharks last game at San Jose an overtime loss to the Avalanche 5-4. The Sharks took a 3-1 lead into the third period only to see the Avs score three and take the lead the Sharks managed to tie the game at 4-4 but Colorado would score to win the game in overtime.

#5 Len how frustrating has it got to be for Sharks head coach Bob Boughner to be eliminated for the second straight year and no post season?

#6 Game four of the home at home series in San Jose tonight the Sharks are expected to be playing a lot of their bench and younger players giving Boughner a chance to take a look at some future prospects.

Join Len each Wednesday for the Sharks podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa: Sharks will take a look at youth after being eliminated

The San Jose Sharks Evander Kane who scored two goals against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Phillipp Brubauer (31) had this shot stopped in the third period at SAP Center in San Jose on Mon May 3, 2021 (AP News photo)

On the Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 The San Jose Sharks (20-26-6) couldn’t stop the favored Colorado Avalanche (34-12-4) as the Avalanche caught up to the Sharks twice to win it 5-4 on Monday night.

#2 The loss on Monday was the Sharks second straight season of being eliminated from the playoffs and you can almost be assured of some serious soul searching during the off season.

#3 Evander Kane scored a pair goals, Tomas Hertl picked up two points and Alexander Barabanov picked up his fifth point in five games were some of the Sharks offensive highlights.

#4 The Sharks will complete this two game series with the Avalanche on Wednesday night at SAP Center and most likely head coach Bob Boughner will use the younger players on the team to take a look at the future towards next season.

#5 The Sharks have seen a lot of the Avalanche three times in their last three games and goaltender Phillipp Brubauer who shut the Sharks out in the first game 3-0 last Friday and on Monday night Brubauer allowed four goals and stopped 27 shots enough for the win.

Join Mary Lisa for the Sharks podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com