Report: Sharks trying to trade Barabanov before deadline

Report: Sharks trying to trade Barabanov before deadline originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Alexander Barabanov wants out of San Jose, and the Sharks reportedly are working to fill his request ahead of Friday's NHL trade deadline.

San Jose is "actively trying to move" Barabanov, The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta reported Tuesday, which San Jose Hockey Now's Sheng Peng confirmed, adding that the forward is ready to move on from the Sharks to join a Stanley Cup contender.

Barabanov comes with a $2.5 million salary-cap hit this season.

In an interview last week, Barabanov confirmed his desire to play elsewhere.

“To be frank, since I’m 29 already and will be 30 this summer, I want to play in the playoffs, get closer to the Cup one way or another," he said.

After playing seven seasons in the KHL, Barabanov signed a one-year entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs and remained on the opening roster for the COVID pandemic-delayed 2020-21 season. The left winger hasn't been to the playoffs since that rookie season, and three years later, wants that to change.

Toronto sent Barabanov to San Jose before the 2021 trade deadline in exchange for Antti Suomela. In the 2022 offseason, he re-signed a two-year, $5 million contract extension with the Sharks.

He now is ready to find a new home elsewhere, but it might not be so easy for the Sharks to move him by Friday's deadline. Barabanov has struggled this year, partly due to injuries. He missed six weeks with a broken finger from late October to early December. He was then sidelined in late December for about a week due to COVID.

Barabanov is among the seven unrestricted free agents that the Sharks are trying to move, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported. The other UFAs are Mike Hoffman, Anthony Duclair, Ryan Carpenter, Kevin Labanc, Justin Bailey and Kaapo Kahkonen.

While Barabanov would like out, the Sharks don't have a lot that teams want at the deadline, Friedman reported earlier this week.

“One of the problems that San Jose has, there’s not a lot there that people are chasing,” Friedman said in his 32 Thoughts Podcast’s Trade Deadline Preview, but added that there was "some interest" in Duclair, Mikael Granlund and Mario Ferraro.

Of course, that doesn't mean there isn't any interest in Barabanov and others, but like the rest of the NHL world, Barabanov will have to play the waiting game before Friday's 12 p.m. PT deadline.