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Sharks purge pending UFAs on Deadline Day
Sheppard, Desjardins and Kennedy traded
3/2/15 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks and General Manager Doug Wilson completed a flurry of low end trades on Monday as clock on the NHL's trade deadline struck zero. Wilson shipped a number of players destined for unrestricted free agency this summer. James Sheppard, Andrew Desjardins and Tyler Kennedy all now call themselves former Sharks after they received their walking papers. In return, San Jose acquired a bevy of draft picks, a 4th line forward and a prospect.

Not exactly the ground shaking moves on Wilson's part, but he rids himself of role players that really contributed little this season. It was unlikely that Wilson was going to re-sign any of the regular roster players that were traded on Monday, so he got something for nothing.

The moves (and lack of incoming support) essentially means the Sharks are throwing in the towel this season. The players and coaches will go through the customary lip service of saying they're not quitting, but management has made it clear that San Jose will finish out the regular season with what remains on the roster, along with some players that need to be recalled from their development affiliate in Worcester.

San Jose got a jump on deadline day by sending Sheppard to the New York Rangers on Sunday in exchange for a 4th round pick this summer. Given New York's strength in the standings, that pick will likely be late in the round.

Sheppard never panned out after he was acquired from the Minnesota Wild back in 2011. The forward was the 9th overall pick in 2006 by the Wild, but fell out of favor after injuring his knee is an off-ice accident. The Sharks had him recuperate for all of the 2011-12 season, only to have him play 4 games in Worcester that year.

He appeared in 156 games for San Jose over the next three seasons, scoring 10 goals across that span. It was a far cry from the potential that teams had envisioned for him on draft day in 2006.

Desjardins was sent to Chicago, in exchange for grinder Ben Smith and a conditional 7th round pick in 2017. Desjardins made his NHL debut in 2011 for San Jose and went on to play in 272 games for the club. His 15 goals and 33 assists in four full seasons didn't equate to the offensive output that San Jose was looking for. He centerman often found himself on a 3rd or 4th lines, which is where he will skate in Chicago.

In Smith, the Sharks get a 4th line player who will eat up minutes and kill penalties. The North Carolina native was the 169th player taken in the 2008 NHL Draft, and has played in parts of five season for Chicago. He became a regular in 2013, when he scored 14 goals and added 12 assists in 75 games.

The Sharks desperately need help on the penalty kill where the team has fallen to 25th in the league.

Kennedy was essentially given away for nothing. The Sharks will receive either Islanders 7th round pick in 2015 or, Tampa Bay's 7th round pick in 2015 (previously acquired by Isles). If New York wins the Stanley Cup this season and Kennedy plays in at least 50% of the games in the Final, the Islanders will instead provide either their 3rd round pick in 2016 or Vancouver's 3rd round pick (previously acquired) in 2016.

Anything is possible, so a 3rd round pick is a possibility, but the odds suggest that San Jose will be utilizing the long shot 7th rounder.

San Jose also swapped prospects with the Colorado Avalanche, sending forward Freddie Hamilton to Denver for defenseman Karl Stollery. Hamilton was Worcester's 3rd leading scorer this season.

In Stollery, the Sharks receive a small blueliner that has appeared in 7 NHL games.

Follow all the deadline day discussion in the NHL Trade Deadline Thread


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