Why Jeremy Roenick won't count out Sharks after losing Joe Pavelski


The Sharks lost a lot from last season's roster earlier this month.

Wingers Joe Pavelski, Joonas Donskoi and Gustav Nyquist signed with the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets, respectively, on July 1. On the first day of NHL free agency, three players who combined to score 58 goals and set up 54 more in teal last year had new homes for next season and beyond. Thrity-eight of those goals and 26 of those assists came from the stick of Pavelski, who also served as captain for the previous four seasons.

But NBC Sports analyst Jeremy Roenick can overcome those "tough" losses. 

"I think the Sharks are very resilient," Roenick told NBC Sports Bay Area in an interview ahead of the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Tournament in Lake Tahoe. "I think they still have the makeup to be a very, very good team. There's no question that [general manager] Doug Wilson is going to find a way to bring on players that are going to fill the void as well as possible." 

Facing a salary-cap crunch that would have made retaining all of his free agents impossible, Wilson prioritized re-signing defenseman Erik Karlsson (eight-years, reportedly worth $92 million per Cap Friendly), and young wingers Timo Meier (four years, reportedly worth $24 million per Cap Friendly) and Kevin Labanc (one year, reportedly worth $1 million per Cap Friendly). Veteran center Joe Thornton and young forward Dylan Gambrell still need new deals, but Wilson has just under $5.4 million in salary-cap space to work with for the remainder of the summer. 

Roenick, who played with San Jose for the last two seasons of his 20-year career, said the Sharks, in his eyes, could use a third-line winger capable of scoring a goal every three or four games. He also mentioned that the Sharks need Martin Jones, who posted a career-worst .896 save percentage and 2.94 goals against average, to be more consistent next season. 

[RELATED: Pavelski reflects on decision to leave Sharks, his time in Bay Area]

The Sharks' losses shouldn't be underestimated next season as they continue to chase their first Stanley Cup. But, according to Roenick, neither should their general manager. 

"I don't think you can replace a guy like Joe Pavelski in terms of his leadership, his personality, how much everybody loved him in that locker room and what he can do scoring goals," Roenick continued. "But, there's no question they have one of the best GMs in the game, and he'll make sure that team's ready to go."

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