Some Sharks mailbag questions headed into the final weekend of training camp (thank goodness)...
Christian Frey @ChristianM27
There has been a lot of talk about the third line and the defense but what's the deal with the fourth line? #SharksTalk
Andrew Desjardins will be your fourth line center, but the wing positions seem to be open. Desjardins had been skating primarily with Eriah Hayes and John Scott during camp, but against Los Angeles he was between wingers Tye Mcginn and Mike Brown, and I thought that group had a decent game together – especially McGinn.
Desjardins is a good guy to have around, because he fits in if the Sharks want to play a tougher, meaner fourth line with Scott and Mike Brown, but he also has the ability to keep up with the pace if the Sharks want to play a more skilled fourth line at some point with guys like McGinn or James Sheppard when he gets healthy.
Jim Leddy @BelieveArmyLed
Do you think Pavelski bags 40+ goals if he's not on a line with Thornton? Could Hertl score 40? #SharksTalk
Joe Pavelski isn’t a 40-goal scorer as the third line center, if that's where he ends up, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be just as valuable to the team in that position as he would be as a top line winger.
He’s still going to be a guy that plays 20 minutes a night in all kinds of situations, and I still believe he’s the frontrunner to be the team’s next captain.
As for Hertl, if he stays on Thornton’s line all season, and stays healthy, I do believe he could eclipse the 30-goal mark and make a run at 40. Heck, he was on pace for 35 last season before he got hurt.
Hertl hasn't done a whole lot of note in the preseason, but he'll be a fun and intriguing player to watch again this season.
Wendy Espinoza @irishrose007
After losing Boyle and Stuart what is the key to strengthening the blue line? #SharksTalk
Brent Burns and Mirco Mueller. Todd McLellan has been complimentary of Burns’ work on the blue line this preseason, and as I’ve said in the past, I don’t think you can underestimate the impact that Larry Robinson and Jim Johnson should have on Burns’ transition from a power forward.
Keep in mind, neither of those two coaches were here when Burns arrived in 2011.
The other part of the equation is 19-year-old defenseman Mirco Mueller, who didn’t look out of place one bit against the Kings (while fellow first rounder Nikolay Goldobin showed he’s not yet ready for the big time).
Mueller and Burns were paired together for all of the Sharks-Kings game on Tuesday night, and their play was arguably the lone bright spot in that 4-1 loss. If I had to guess today, I'd say Mueller makes the team out of camp.
David Li @casubieowner
Which veteran players are most in danger of getting cut?
Adam Burish is the name that jumps out right away. He hasn’t played in either of the previous two preseason games, and he’d be tough to deal with his $1.85 million salary for the next two seasons.
I could see the Sharks maybe waiving him and sending him to Worcester, unless something drastically changes here over the next couple days.
Tyler Kennedy won’t get cut, because I think an Eastern Conference team would take a flier on a guy that has just one year left on his contract at $2.35 million. I could see the Sharks trying to move him for, say, a late-round draft pick.
Even before Kennedy got hurt in camp, he wasn’t getting any sort of looks on a line with NHL players, and in his one preseason game skated with minor leaguers Freddie Hamilton and Rylan Schwartz.
The Sharks don’t seem to have him in their plans.