So that's what the Sharks were missing during their heartbreaking seven-game loss to the Los Angeles Kings last season: an empty sweater.
Not sure how else to take the news that anchor-legged enforcer John Scott has signed a one-year, $1 million deal with San Jose.
It's no fun taking shots at Scott, a man who, like most goons, comes across as a genuinely nice person. But the truth of it is that he's not much of a hockey player. The 6-foot-8, 259-pound forward has produced only two goals and six points in 236 career NHL games and, at 31, those stats probably aren't trending upward. His possession numbers are terrible (a Corsi of 39.9 last season) and he can't be used in the defensive zone--probably why his coaches in Buffalo entrusted him with just 6:45 TOI per game, by far the lowest of any of the 27 forwards employed by the Sabres last season.
What he has going for him is that he's big enough to blot out the sun and enjoys punching people repeatedly. At least, he used to. Tough to call a guy a nuclear deterrent when he fought a total of five times last season and won just three of his bouts.
And remember, the Sharks just signed Mike Brown, a smaller but more willing combatant, to a two-year deal this offseason.
So what's the point here?
No, this deal won't break the bank or put the Sharks in cap trouble, but it does nothing to make them a team better capable of knocking off the Kings or the Blackhawks or the Ducks. And on the second day of free agency, that 's what San Jose GM Doug Wilson should be focusing on. Not a guy like this.
Never a guy like this.
SI Now: How the West won NHL free agency
On Wednesday's SI Now, Sports Illustrated senior writer Brian Cazeneuve and reporter Sarah Kwak discuss the Western Conference's dominance in NHL free agency.