SAN JOSE -- The Sharks parted ways with TJ Galiardi on Tuesday, sending the forward to his hometown Calgary Flames for a fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft.
The Sharks had been shopping Galiardi, who had five goals and nine assists in 36 games last season for San Jose. According to Galiardi, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson told him which teams were interested and allowed him to choose his destination.
Galiardi, who will be entering his sixth year, was set to become a restricted free agent Tuesday but signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with Calgary. Galiardi, 25, made $950,000, prorated, last season.
"For me, it was a no-brainer in Calgary," Galiardi told this newspaper. "I've wanted to play there my whole life, and I always figured I would eventually. Things worked out well, just sooner than I thought."
The Sharks' acquisition of forward Tyler Kennedy from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, plus Tomas Hertl's emergence as a possible top-nine forward, made Galiardi expendable. Hertl, San Jose's first-round pick in 2012, is likely to be given every opportunity to play in the NHL this coming season.
The trade could also signal that Brent Burns will remain as a forward after he switched from defense midway through the 2013 season.
Acquired from Colorado in a six-player deal in February 2012, Galiardi, in 50 career games with the Sharks, had 15 points and 20 penalty minutes. He found his stride this past season as he played on the team's top line with Burns and Joe Thornton in the playoffs. San Jose advanced to the second round but was eliminated by Los Angeles in seven games.
"I don't think it was final when they picked up Kennedy that I was going to be gone," Galiardi said. "You speculate a little, but who knows who's going to play with Jumbo and Burnzie now? It's not really my issue anymore, and I'm just looking forward to the next step in my career."
Galiardi was involved in some verbal jousting with the Kings in that series, and scored the Game 6 winner.
"We had a really fun time together. They definitely elevated my game and I hope I was able to do that a bit for them, too," Galiardi said of playing with Thornton and Burns. "But you know how it goes. We wouldn't be talking about this if we had went all the way and done the job that we were supposed to.
"Hockey's a business, and San Jose's going to move forward and so am I."