Summer doldrums (TWTW)

And the most exciting thing of the past week was that the NBC Sports national games were announced.  Sharks will be on NBC (once!) and NBCSN (12) for a total of 13 games.  (Max number of “national exclusive” games is 11, but not clear, right now, how many of those will be on CSNCA also.)

The other to minor things that happened this past week was that draftee Julius Bergman signed with the OHL team that drafted him in the CHL import draft.  (Transfer from Sweden not expected to be a problem.)  Which means he’ll be in North America playing, either for OHL London or the NHL Sharks (probably the former).

Logan Couture was also in the news, guesting at Smashfest, former Shark Dominic Moore’s ping pong charity tournament.  They raised $140,000 this year, benefitting his deceased wife’s memorial Katie Moore Foundation (rare cancer research) and his brother Steve Moore Foundation (concussion research).

Nothing on the schedule for the upcoming week.  So it could be on the quiet side (with folks packing up for the August “holidays”).  (Maybe an announcement of the outdoor game?)

Truth is stranger than fiction

You attend a hockey game.  You expect that the game will start on time. You expect that all the action will be on the ice. And that’s the norm.

But occasionally, VERY infrequently, unusual things happen. (And often challenge the trivia quotient of fans.)

And the Sharks have been involved in a few of those games including:

March 10, 1995

First ever NHL “rained out” game; during the lockout shortened season.  The Guadalupe River, hundreds of feet from the San Jose Arena, reached flood stage, some local underpasses were flooded.

(Game was rescheduled for April 5. Flaherty was the goaltender of record in 3-5 loss.)

December 29, 1996

Snow delay in Vancouver. Rescheduled for January 20, 1997.

(Sharks lost 1-6 behind Hrudey.)

March 12, 1999

Sharks are hosting the Red Wings.  Game delayed 25 minutes with SJ Sharkie tangled up (great video and raw footage from event) as he attempted to rappel from roof.  Sharks won 2-0 with Shields in net.

Guess Sharkie scared them as he was hanging over their net.

March 10, 2002

During the waning seconds of the game, the Sharks are on a power play in Vancouver. But the Canucks are behind by two goals and pull their goalie.  So, Nabokov gathers up the puck, lofts it down the ice, straight in the goal and becomes the first NHL goalie to score a power play goal, and the first European NHL goalie to score a goal. Sharks win 7-4.

March 19, 2003

Snow delay in Colorado. Flying to Colorado 3/18, they couldn’t even land in Denver, but had to divert to Colorado Springs and stay there overnight.  Game rescheduled for March 20, 2003, after the Sharks’ players (union members) had to vote to play on that day as it resulted in the team playing three games in three days (March 20 in Colorado; March 21 hosting Boston; March 22 hosting Anaheim), something prohibited in NHL CBA (and still is).  (But it was preferred to traveling home to SJ and make another trip to Colorado to play the game.)

The Sharks  lost to Colorado 0-2 and Kipper left game in 3rd for the season with knee strain, Toskala came in relief (surprising the coach who didn’t realize there had been a goalie change). As for the other two games: Toskala won against Boston 3-2, and Nabokov lost in OT to Anaheim 2-3.

October 13, 2007

Home opener against Boston after major refurbishment of HP Pavilion.  During warmups, power outage occurs.  Game start is delayed about half an hour to get the lights and things fixed.  (Audio was out for all of the first period.)

Sharks lost 1-2 with Nabokov in nets, backed up by Patzold.

April 17, 2014

Division semi-final Playoffs Game 1 against the Kings, warmups delayed 15 minutes after a five minute power outage. But after the lessons learned seven years earlier, the emergency lights came on immediately. Things were pretty much able to go “on time” as this was a “15 minutes after the hour” national game.

Sharks won 6-3 with Niemi in nets.

What you see ain’t what you get

I don’t think that the “NHL roster” players as signed today and in the organization is the list that will start the season for the Sharks.

Possible opening roster based on players in the organization as of today looks like, with cap space of about $6m available:

Goalies: Niemi, Stalock

Defense: Braun, Burns, Demers, Hannan, Irwin, Tennyson, Vlasic

Forwards:    Brown, Burish, Couture, Desjardins, Hertl, Kennedy, Marleau, Nieto, Pavelski, Scott, Sheppard, Thornton, Torres, Wingels

Some pundits have Mueller making the NHL at 19 (over Tennyson) in the defensive corps. And there are rumors that the Sharks have Niemi on the block.

But I think the majority of changes may be in the forwards.

Little has been heard or said about Burish, Kennedy, and Torres this off season regarding their future with the team.  Two missed a majority of the season with injury, proving the Sharks might not need them for the future, and they are among the “veterans” of the team who might want “out” during a “rebuild”.  And Kennedy seemed to be the odd man out in the playoffs. (Torres has a modified NTC.)  (Hertl and Nieto are still waiver exempt; but I do expect them to start the season on the NHL Roster.)

And there are some teams (including Chicago and Philadelphia) which may be seeking cap relief and the Sharks could be a trading partner.  And some rumored “get me outtahere” players, like Winnipeg’s Kane or Toronto’s Reimer, that might also be targeted by the Sharks.

Sharks may also risk some older players on waivers if they don’t fit the desired NHL roster requirements and either lose them for nothing, or get limited cap relief as they play in the AHL.

But unlike some teams, the Sharks do not “leak” trade interests, so it may be an unlikely move or three that helps form the opening night roster.  So anything and everything here is total speculation. YMMV

(And Geraldine with her boyfriend Killer may still be looking for something entertaining to watch at the start of the season.)

Is that all there is? (TWTW)

A relatively quiet week, news wise, for the Sharks unless you count the continuing “controversy” over the announced new “Ice Girls”/team.

The Sharks announced the signings of Taylor Doherty (one year) and Jason Demers (two years). This marks all RFAs signed for next season (defected Sateri, notwithstanding), one of the earliest in my memory.

Prospect Julius Bergman tweeted he’d been signed by the Sharks, but as of the writing of this  blog entry, it has not been officially announced.  (My guess — there are a few kids from the last week’s prospect camp getting deals, and the Sharks won’t announce until all are signed.)

This gives the Sharks 44 active NHL contracts against the maximum allowed of 50 (with the potential of two — Bergman, Mueller — sliding).

The week ahead — nothing on the league calendar (for the Sharks, especially with resolving Demers’ contract situation before the scheduled arbitration hearing).

The next real “deadline” is August 15 to sign graduating college seniors (Macleod and Ferriero for the Sharks). Have to wonder if either will be part of the organization, or perhaps only offered AHL deals as neither was invited to last weeks’ development camp. And guessing that the Sharks be looking in that list of graduating seniors and/or leaving-college-early players to bolster the prospect pool for AHL depth?

Sharks organization still needs another 6-10 players to fill out their AHL roster (and call up depth from the ECHL).

Nothing (yet) announced regarding possible ECHL affiliation for 2014-15.

Summer Camp 2014 (TWTW)

News of the week (links)

It’s the time of year for summer camp!

The Sharks held their annual (prospect) development camp with more than 40 campers, mainly draftees and many not-yet-made-it-to-NHL players; plus a handful of invitees.  (Two NHL experienced players headlined camp:  Matt Nieto and Tomas Hertl.)

The highlight of camp (for fans) was Wednesday’s scrimmage, which featured two 25-minute running clock periods.  ~8,000 fans attended.  Team White coached by Mike Ricci beat Team Teal coached by Bryan Marchment 2-1.

But that wasn’t the only news.  The NHL Sharks re-signed two players (RFA Matt Tennyson – 2 year deal; UFA Scott Hannan – 1 year deal) and signed two players (Bryan Lerg and Micheal Haley – 1 year deals) both seemingly destined for play in Worcester.

After his election for arbitration, Jason Demer’s hearing has been set for July 22 (in Toronto). Both sides can continue to negotiate to try and get a deal before the hearing, but he will be in training camp with a new deal.

That means that RFA Taylor Doherty is the only other guy still looking for a new deal for the fall.  (Not including the two college graduates Cody Ferriero and Isaac Macleod who need to be signed by August 15, or they’ll become UFAs.)

The Sharks have 41 players signed to NHL deals (max 50, less 18-19 yo CHLers)

This next week could be pretty quiet with nothing on the schedule.

No Sirocco here (TWTW)

The winds of change from the start of NHL Free Agency, did not blow hard in San Jose.

While attention swirled around former Shark Dan Boyle, who signed with the New York Rangers (while on vacation in Europe following his favorite band), the Sharks as promised made little noise in the first two days of the “Silly Season”.

Other former Sharks also changing/re-newing addresses included: Havlat signing with Devils. Ehrhoff and Greiss sign with Penguins (and Goc re-ups there too). Nabokov signs with Lightning. Malhotra signs with Canadiens. Bernier re-signs with Devils. Dominic Moore re-signs with Rangers. Michalek re-signs with Senators. Gorges traded to Sabres. McCarthy signs with Blues. Tim Kennedy (and former Sharks draftee Newbury) signs with Capitals.

The Sharks continued their rebuild-centric reallocation of veterans, shipping out Brad Stuart to the Avalanche for a couple of draft picks.

The Sharks did sign un-qualified D Taylor Fedun.  And acquired Tye McGinn (younger brother of former Shark Jamie) for a draft pick.  And the most angst-ridden signing for the Sharks in the opening days of free agency:  enforcer John Scott (apparently there is sentiment in the organization that having an enforcer allows more cohesiveness on the team; he does have a reputation, including recent suspensions, which might need refurbishment, ala Torres).

And re-signed Tommy Wingels to three year deal.  While Jason Demers filed for arbitration.

That brings the Sharks to 36 NHL deals (plus 4 QOs to re-sign with Sharks, not including the one KHL defection). So, there is still room to sign more prospects/free agents, or perhaps swap other NHL veterans for prospects/picks before the NHL roster is finalized in about 90 days.

No need (or lots of time) for more anxious hours of worrying over the roster.


As for the coming week…

The kids are in town for the rookie development camp.  There will be a scrimmage open to the public on Wednesday.

The rest of what will happen will happen when it happens.

Enjoy the summer!

O Captain! My Captain!

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

— Walt Whitman

Who will wear the “C” for the San Jose Sharks for the 2014-15 season?  Our “trip” for 2013-14 is “done”, but the “prize we sought” was not won by the Sharks.

Does the first stanza of the poem foretell the future of the captaincy (and the player)?

Will there be a captain this season for the Sharks?

The team has been emphasizing a change of leadership, to the “next” group of leaders (Couture, Pavelski, Vlasic, et al).

Marleau lost the C when it went to Jumbo, so I don’t see him having that much problem with others taking on the leadership.

Thornton arguable was his most productive, offensively, as a Shark before he had the “C.” I believe that he does have the humility to accept someone else wearing the “C”, regardless of the awkwardness.

There have been rumors that both Marleau and Thornton have been available in trade, but neither has waived their movement clauses to allow for it.  And neither player, nor the GM, seem willing to explain what conversations have taken place for their future with the “rebuilding” Sharks.

But there are three months until the start of the season, so arguing and posturing could  extend for that time and more.

It’s not getting resolved today.