August 5th, 2010, 9:52 am
After a few days of rumors, TSN is now reporting the finalization of a deal between the Sharks and Jamal Mayers. Mayers, a big forward who has played most of his career with the Blues, is clearly meant to be a physical presence on the fourth line, probably with Scott Nichol. For $600k, this is an upgrade over Brad Staubitz. Mayers hasn’t played an AHL game since 1999, so those that would want to paint this guy as a marginal NHLer aren’t being accurate. His best year points wise was only two years ago with St. Louis, 12 goals and 15 assists. And he has traditionally played quite a bit of PK time, not much this past season, but 1:46/game with the Leafs in 08-09, and 3rd on the team in SH ice time with the Blues in 07-08.
I don’t have any problem with Mayers as a player, and we could use some toughness with Staubitz gone. But what about Frazer McLaren? I’m still a big booster of this guy, and desperately hope that this signing doesn’t relegate McLaren to the AHL again this year. McLaren did have 6 points in 23 games for the big club last year (a slightly better scoring rate than Mayers) and had 15 points in 52 games for the Worchester Sharks, with some PK time as well. It might not be the move I would make for this team, but it certainly fits Doug Wilson’s pattern of signing character veterans. Either that or he’s going for the All-NHL Eyebrow team, and McLaren just doesn’t cut it.