The Sharks provided clarity on the state of
defenseman Erik Karlsson, who underwent surgery at Kaiser Permanente in San
Jose to repair a muscle tear in his left forearm. The defensemen missed last
Saturday's game against Tampa Bay after suffering or aggravating the injury in
the Sharks loss at Seattle on January 20th.
The extent of the injury
was serious enough to require surgery. Karlsson will be re-evaluated in
mid-March, which means it's not a gaurantee that he will be available to
return. The defenseman has missed 9 games this season, 6 of which came in
November when he was placed on the COVID protocol list. He then missed 2 games
in early January due to an upper body injury.
Holes in the blueline
have seemingly been ongoing this season. San Jose has been without defenseman
Jake Middleton since January 6th. Radim Simek just returned to the lineup after
missing 6 games earlier this month.
The subtraction on the blueline
will force the Sharks to lean on youngsters Nicolas Meloche and Jaycob Megna.
Meloche has been scratched 13 times since his call up on December 2nd. Megna
has played in the last 9 games, scoring hist first goal of the season agaisnt
Tampa Bay on Saturday. San Jose also has Santeri Hatakka, who started the
season the roster but was sent to the San Jose Barracuda on December 2nd.
With the Sharks currently fighting for the final
playoff spot in the Western Conference, they will need to decide if acquiring
veteran help is necessary to stay in the hunt. The Sharks sit in 10th place in
the West, tied with Calgary and Dallas in points (44), but the Flames and Stars
have 5 and 3 games in hand respectively.
If the trends continue, San
Jose won't qualify for the post season, so it makes little sense for the Sharks
to be buyers at the NHL trade deadline at the end of March.