September 28, 2015 By Paul Gackle

Rink Notes: DeBoer Pleasantly Surprised By Sharks’ Depth At Goalie

SAN JOSE — Heading into the offseason, the Sharks goaltending situation was a big-fat question mark. Now, head coach Peter DeBoer sees it as area of strength.

With the addition of Martin Jones, who’s looked fantastic in two preseason starts, and the emergence of Troy Grosenick and Aaron Dell in the pipeline, the Sharks suddenly have plenty of options in the blue paint, a scenario that may have been difficult for DeBoer to imagine when he took the job back in May.

“All four guys that played have been really good, so there’s a lot of depth here,” DeBoer said, referring to Jones, Grosenick, Dell and Alex Stalock. “A lot more depth than I anticipated.”

So far, Jones looks like he’s worth the first-round pick that the Sharks gave up for his services, and Stalock is a more than competent backup if he can return to his 2013-14 form.

The Sharks are also high on Grosenick, who pitched a memorable 45-save shutout in his NHL debut last season, and the coaching staff was impressed by what they saw out of Dell in camp, too (both goalies were cut from the training camp roster on Monday).

Dell showed up for camp in tip-top shape and he worked his butt off in practice everyday, a good recipe for catching the coach’s eye. The florescent orange stripes on his pads probably didn’t hurt either.

Meier Returns to Halifax: Timo Meier’s game can be summed up by one play.

In the Sharks intrasquad scrimmage last week, the ninth overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft took about three strides to line up Patrick Marleau for a big hit right after the veteran forward released the puck.

After the hit, Marleau skated back to his bench and glanced over at Meier with a somewhat confused look on his face.

Marleau didn’t seem to appreciate the hit, but apparently his coach did.

“The nice thing that I liked that he did, he didn’t show too much respect for the level. He came in and played his game,” Pete DeBoer said. “He came in and had five hits or six hits the last game, and ran at a couple guys in the intrasquad, veteran guys. That doesn’t happen very often, so that shows you that he came in here and tried to make the team. That’s a great quality and it’s going to be a nice quality for him moving forward.”

The Sharks sent Meier back to his junior team, the Halifax Mooseheads, on Monday and he was quickly named the team’s captain.

While Meier proved he’s ready for the physicality of NHL hockey, DeBoer said the 18-year-old will benefit from being the leader on the Mooseheads this season.

“The opportunity to play another year where he potentially scores 50 goals, those are few and far between,” DeBoer said. “That’s something that can always be beneficial to a young player. He’s going to be able to play in the World Juniors again, which is a great experience for anybody to go through.”

Barracuda Camp Opens: The first AHL training camp in San Jose opened at Sharks Ice on Monday, which means decisions are looming for head coach Roy Sommer, too.

The Barracuda currently has 32 players on its roster and Sommer would like to whittle that number down to about 22 after the team’s preseason bouts on Thursday (Sharks Ice) and Saturday (Bakersfield).

Keep in mind, the Barracuda will get at least three more players from the Sharks before Oct. 7, so Sommer will need to cut 10 to 13 players by the time it’s all said and done.

Sommer said the Barracuda’s two preseason games will weight heavily in his decision.

“It’s hard to judge a guy until the real bullets start flying,” Sommer said.

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