Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Drew Remenda of the Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
The biggest storyline for the Sharks is not how many games they’ll win, ( they’ll win a lot) but it’s when will they win them (as in April and May). Here are the other big storylines for the Sharks this season.
PATRICK MARLEAU-Can the Captain continue his strong play from the playoffs and start the year off with a bang? Can he maintain a consistent leadership presence on and off the ice all season? Can Patrick get to a new level with a different and more positive coach backing him?
more question yet to be answered…
The San Jose Sharks have bolstered their scouting departments with a pair of faces that should be very familiar to hockey fans.
On Saturday the Sharks added former Maple Leafs’ general manager John Ferguson Jr. and former Chicago Blackhawks coach Dirk Graham to their staff as professional scouts.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Every team is unbeaten. Coaches are sleeping well at night. Every draft pick looks like a keeper. It’s training camp, and here are some few things to consider for the upcoming season:
Does Jumbo Joe Thornton have to change the way he plays (i.e., get into the traffic more or be a little nastier) to win a Stanley Cup?
All those 90- and 100-point regular seasons are swell, but guys who rack up points yet don’t win often don’t get enough votes for the Hall of Fame.
many more things to consider…
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Kyle McLaren got back on the ice this week — skating, checking, shooting — for the first time since leaving Game 5 of the Sharks’ opening round playoff series against Calgary with a groin injury.
The good news is that McLaren says he feels very comfortable on the ice, that a summer divided between rest and working out had the desired effect of getting him back into shape for the coming season.
The big question, however, is whether his NHL future is with the Sharks or elsewhere.
from Mark Emmons of the Mercury News,
“You can’t rely so much on your size and getting in the way of forwards anymore,” Blake added. “You have to be quicker. I’ve had to change my game, and you’re never too old to learn new things. I worked really hard in hopes of increasing my speed a bit.”
Blake told Wilson last week that he should have come to San Jose a few years sooner.
“I said, ‘Yeah, you should have,’ ” Wilson recalled. “But we’ve got him now.”
more on Blake…
“We’ve been a very good team in the regular season the last two years,” said Grier. “But we’ve had our bumps and hit the wall in the playoffs, for some reason.
“We have playoff experience and now we’ve got some guys who have won Stanley Cups. Now maybe a little fresher approach or a different approach will help us get over the hump.”
-Mike Grier of the San Jose Sharks. Read more from Grier and many NHL topics from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.
When Bryan McCabe goes to Florida, assuming his regression ends there, he joins a defence that includes emerging star, Jay Bouwmeester, and solid veterans Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton. The Panthers could be a playoff team in the East
-Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun.
Since 2005-06, the Sharks have failed to advance beyond the Conference semifinals, falling in six-game series to the Edmonton Oilers, Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars.
It was that postseason failure that forced general manager Doug Wilson to fire Ron Wilson as head coach, replacing him with Todd McLellan, who earned his spurs as an assistant coach with the defending Cup champion Red Wings.
McLellan’s first order of business will be to mold these playoff underachievers into the genuine contender they appear to be on paper. He’s had no previous head coaching experience in the NHL so it’ll be interesting to see if he can transfer the Cup-winning lessons he learned in Detroit to San Jose.
Wilson also addressed a long-time need for experienced puck-moving defensemen during the offseason by acquiring Dan Boyle from Tampa Bay and signing former L.A. Kings captain Rob Blake.
from David Pollack of Working the Corners,
• The Sharks have awhile before they need to get under the cap, but Wilson hinted Wednesday another transaction may be in the works. He didn’t say it would be a cap-related move, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what it turns out to be.
And the likelihood a trade grew out of Wilson’s golfing vacation in Scotland earlier this month with Detroit’s Ken Holland, Chicago’s Dale Tallon and St. Louis’s Doug Armstrong?
No clues at this point, Wilson said, but we could have the answer in about a week.
• The Sharks new coach had his first meet-and-greet with the Sharks fan base on Wednesday at HP Pavilion. About 50 people showed up for autographs and photos inside the team store during the 90 minute session.
I’m thinking that if the event were held in Detroit, even in an off-season that didn’t follow a Stanley Cup victory, it would have been more of a mob scene rather than the trickle that showed up downtown.
• Hedican is also skating at Sharks Ice this month, but both he and the Sharks are making it clear that a training camp invitation has not been extended. For now at least.
from Roger Ross at SanJoseSharks.com,
Sharks fan favorite Jeff Friesen will return to San Jose as a tryout player when Sharks training camp begins Sept. 20 at Sharks Ice at San Jose…
“I’d love to end my career here,” said Friesen, who won a Stanley Cup in 2003 with New Jersey. “But first things first and I have to take advantage of the opportunity.”
From the San Jose Sharks:
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has signed defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to a four-year contract extension. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Marc-Edouard is one of the top young defenseman in the game and we are excited to have him in to fold for the next several years,” said Wilson. “He has a tremendous future with this franchise and we look forward to watching his continued development.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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