Martin Jones makes a ton of sense for the San Jose Sharks

Photo credit:David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
18 days ago
What’s old is new again.
The San Jose Sharks have been one of the quieter teams so far throughout the early stages of free agency and have a gaping hole through their goaltending depth chart. Right now, general manager Mike Grier has Mackenzie Blackwood and Vitek Vanecek on his NHL roster and is in need of another experienced option as both netminders have not shown the ability to stay healthy.
Insert veteran goalie Martin Jones, the former Maple Leaf who spent parts of six seasons in San Jose from 2015-21.
The 34-year-old ended up being a big part of the Maple Leafs last season, and remains unsigned. Jones made $875,000 last year and it appears likely that he would settle on the same contract this summer. So far, he’s been overlooked by everyone.
Jones appeared in 22 games for the Maple Leafs last season and exceeded expectations. Toronto dealt with a slew of injuries in its crease, Jones was able to give the team a giant lift and keep their season afloat. It was obvious throughout multiple stretches of last season that Jones can still get the job done and do what it takes to win his team hockey games. Was it always pretty? No! But in small bursts he was very effective. Jones’ 2.83 goals against average actually led the Maple Leafs in the regular season, ahead of Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll.

Sharks don’t have many options left

As it stands after day three of free agency, Jones is one of the best goaltenders available. He’s very familiar with the Sharks organization, he’s aware they are looking to rebuild and develop and the opportunity for potential starts is screaming off the page. The Sharks and Jones need to consider rekindling their relationship.
Jones is among the best of the rest at the moment. Of all the remaining unrestricted free-agent goalies who appeared in more than 20 games in 2023-24,  Jones’ numbers stack up against his competition. He’s second behind Antti Raanta for wins, and third in save percentage.
With the Sharks Jose being in the middle of in a rebuild, they have also shown the appetite to bring in veteran mentors, including Tyler Toffoli who signed a four-year contract earlier this offseason. He’ll do a great job helping out the Sharks’ young core, meanwhile Jones could do the same helping out in the crease. It’s also worth noting that Jones and Toffoli know each other very well from spending three seasons together with the Los Angeles Kings. Riding out your NHL career playing with some close friends in California doesn’t sound like the worst set up.
It’s worth an honourable mention to include the Vancouver Canucks as a potential destination for Jones as well. He’s from North Vancouver, the Canucks let Casey DeSmith walk and have Arturs Silovs and Thatcher Demko as their top-two options for next season. Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin could be in the market for a third-stringer. Jones fits the bill as a cheap veteran who would understand his role.
Familiarity always plays a major factor in transactions around the NHL and with Jones being very familiar with his surroundings in San Jose, the fit there makes a ton of sense. The Sharks have lots of money to spend, they have a clear direction for their franchise and Grier and company need to continue to fill out the depth roles on their roster.
With Anthony Stolarz, Joseph Woll and Matt Murray all signed for next season, it’s become quite obvious the Maple Leafs are moving on.

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