Finding a third-line center
It's not exactly a secret that the weakest link on the Sharks' roster as it currently stands is presumptive third-line center Michal Handzus. For those who didn't have the immense pleasure of watching him closely last season, here's the gist of it: despite deploying him against worse opposing players on average than every regular Sharks forward save for fourth-liners Andrew Desjardins and Brad Winchester, San Jose was dominated on the shot clock to a greater extent when Handzus was on the ice than any other regular forward. No one who spent the full season with the team was even close to Handzus' abysmal shot differential; for every 60 minutes that Handzus was on the ice 5v5 last year, a whopping 10 more shot attempts were directed at the Sharks' net than the opposition's. Unsurprisingly, he also made every Shark he skated with worse. At 35 years old, it just isn't a solid bet to make that Handzus will be able to rebound to any significant degree next season and should not be seen as a real option to center the third line of a team looking to contend for the Stanley Cup.
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