SAN JOSE -- Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle did not practice Wednesday at HP Pavilion, and his status for Thursday's home game against the Edmonton Oilers is uncertain. A Sharks representative said Boyle, who did not play Tuesday against Anaheim, was still out sick.

But the Sharks' blue line might be bolstered with the addition of Jason Demers, who declared himself ready to play after Wednesday's practice.

"It's really kind of a coaches' decision at this point," said Demers, who suffered a broken wrist in December while playing for Canada at the Spengler Cup in Switzerland.

Demers was part of the power-play unit in Wednesday's practice, and Sharks coach Todd McLellan said he'll see Thursday morning which of his defenseman is healthy and take it from there. About Demers' return, "it could be as early as tomorrow, but if not tomorrow, it'll be coming soon," McLellan said.

If Boyle does not play, it would again leave the Sharks with a fairly young defensive corps. Three of the team's six other defensemen -- Justin Braun, Matt Irwin and Nick Petrecki -- have played in a combined 107 NHL games. Veteran Brent Burns skated in Wednesday's practice but offered no timetable for his return.

Overall, McLellan was pleased with how the defensive unit played Tuesday, but the Sharks, at times, looked ragged bringing the puck out of their own end and mustered just 18 shots for the game. The team worked on breakouts during its short practice.

"We weren't as smooth as we were in a few of the other games in coming out of our zone, but that doesn't fall all on the d-man. That falls on the forwards' positioning as well," McLellan said. "I think that's an area that we can improve on after last game, and it was addressed today."

  • Based on percentages and the number of goals he's scored, forward Michal Handzus figures to be one of the Sharks' go-to guys in shootouts in the early part of the season, McLellan said. Handzus scored the lone Sharks shootout goal against Anaheim, is 17 for 33 on career shootout attempts.

  • Left winger Frazer McLaren was placed on waivers by the Sharks, according to TSN of Canada. The team did not issue a release. If McLaren clears waivers, the team would be free to send him to Worcester of the AHL. McLaren has played in just one game so far this season, the Sharks' opener against Calgary.

    Follow Curtis Pashelka on Twitter at twitter.com/Curtis Pashelka.