According to reports, the San Jose Sharks will buy out goaltender Martin Jones. As a result, the netminder will become an unrestricted free agent.
Sources tell @KKurzNHL and myself that the Sharks are placing Martin Jones on unconditional waivers today for purposes of a buyout
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 27, 2021
Sharks Buy-Out Martin Jones
The 31-year-old joined the Sharks in 2015 following a multitude of trades involving the Los Angeles Kings, the club that drafted Jones, and the Boston Bruins. He immediately signed a three-year, $3 million AAV ($9 million total) contract with the Sharks.
That same season, the Sharks went all the way to a Stanley Cup Final losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Before his three-year deal expired, San Jose handed Jones a six-year, $34,500,000 ($5.7 million AAV) contract extension.
The buyout comes as he is entering year four of six in his monster deal. And there are no more signing bonuses to be paid. The buyout will stick San Jose with an annual cap hit of over $1.7 million per year over the next six seasons. In the end, the team will have saved $5 million once the buyout is complete.
Martin Jones #SJS buyout details:
Length: 6 years (twice the remaining 3 years of the contract)
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 27, 2021
What This Means For The Future
The Martin Jones era in San Jose will be remembered for the sudden lack of ability that plagued the Canadian goaltender. For three years in a Sharks’ uniform, Jones had a save percentage over 9.10. He had at least 30 wins and made three straight playoffs.
Now the three years after that? Not so good. He had a cumulative .896 save percentage, has sat around 20 wins and has a goals-against average that ballooned over 3 last season. Jones was the goalie of the future for San Jose and with his lacklustre play; he hindered the team financially for a long time.
This buyout will allow the Sharks to take those savings and spend on a goalie that can get the job done. In a Pacific Division that projects to be the weakest next season, the ageing Sharks need to jump at any chance to win. At least now they can trust their goalie while they aim to get back on the path to a playoff run.
As he hits free agency, Jones will look to take literally *any* contract he can get from an NHL club. With the vast amount of high calibre goalies on the FA market, he will be nowhere close to the top of anyone’s list.
More than likely, Jones will have to take a large pay cut in either a platoon or backup role. There is no way to sugarcoat it. Martin Jones has not been a good goaltender for a couple of seasons. Now he has to prove he is an NHL goalie if he wants another big-league paycheque.