Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Swift of the Mercury News,
From cultivating gays in San Francisco to trying to make San Jose the launch pad to promote ice hockey in China, Bay Area pro sports teams are facing the demographic fact that the biggest growth in their fan base isn’t necessarily among fans with a lifelong affinity for their sport….
Recognizing that demographic fact, the four mainstream professional leagues are trying to expand their demographic base. They are cultivating female, Latino, Asian, and gay and lesbian fans; signing international stars who can forge lucrative immigrant connections in a team’s home market; and even planting teams outside the United States.
The Sharks are following that last route. San Jose’s NHL franchise will have an affiliated pro team in Shanghai this fall with North American and Asian players - the China Sharks - playing teams from Japan and Korea.
The goal, said Sharks President and Chief Executive Greg Jamison, is to seed hockey interest in the world’s most populous nation.
from the Register Pajaronian,
Tuning his mandolin and setting up microphones for his evening show at the Bargetto Winery in Soquel Thursday, Mark Smith — better known to San Jose Sharks fans as simply ‘Smitty’ — hardly resembled the player fans had come to love during his six years with the team.
Gone is the teal-and-purple-dyed Mohawk he once proudly sported. Gone is the mean streak that earned him 97 penalty minutes one season. Gone is the blue-collar, tough-as-nails fourth-line center who earned his way into the NHL with more black eyes and bruises than goals and assists….
This is the new Smitty — the version 2.0 Smitty. And it’s who he wants to be now.
“I think moving to California and being in the lifestyle and the surroundings, you kind of take that on yourself,” he said behind a pair of red-rimmed sunglasses. “It impacted me in a big way. I’ve always liked the acoustic guitar and being able to just take off and go to the beach and play. But yeah, it definitely contradicts the way I play the game of hockey.”
from Drew Remenda of the Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
One aspect of coaching that will keep you up at night and dominate many meetings with your Assistants is line combinations. I’m sure Todd McLellan has already gone through a notebook scribbling down line combinations and defence pairings as well as Penalty Kill and Powerplay Units. So being a (very) ex-coach I thought I’d try my hand. Of course line combos are open to discussion and criticism.Unlike the real Sharks Coach I will try to explain why I am putting these guys together.
MARLEAU THORNTON CHEECHOO -I know RW tried this last year but he didn’t stick with them long enough- It gives the Sharks a Zetterberg\Datsyuk line if Todd can sell Joe and Patty on a new and necessary style of play.
from David Pollak at Working the Corners,
According to the G.M., he and (Ryane) Clowe sat down and talked about the future during the big left wing’s rehab period from that serious knee injury. The conversation took place before Clowe returned to action and at that time, they shook hands on a two-year deal at a mutually agreed-upon salary.
Wilson thought the handshake settled things, but apparently not. Which, of course, raises questions about what advice Clowe may now be getting from his agent. I tried to find that out today, but the agent, Paul Cobeil, chose not to comment — because “we don’t have a deal right now.”
from the CP via the Sporting News,
“We played five good playoff games out of 13,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson told The Canadian Press on Thursday. “That’s not acceptable. We decided to make some changes.”
Say hello Todd McLellan, Rob Blake, Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich.
“We’ve added four people and every one of them has won a Stanley Cup,” said Wilson.
The message couldn’t be any more clear than being slapped on the head with a two-by-four. Yes, the Sharks have a talented roster led by the likes of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo but the group needed a little push to get over the hump.
from David Pollak at Working the Corners,
Confirming that Christian Ehrhoff has signed a new contract that will pay him $9.3 million over the next three years, including $2.75 million in the 2008-09 season. The official announcement is expected tomorrow (today)....
The Sharks like to present their re-signings in mini-packages for some reason, so it doesn’t surprise me that the team hasn’t made anything official yet. When it does become official, expect it to be packaged with a new deal for Ryane Clowe.
Erik Erlendsson at Bolts Report quotes Dan Boyle tonight:
“It got to the point where once it probably a few days ago, when I was threatened, that they just didn’t care and that my [butt] is going to end up on waivers and end up in Atlanta. That’s just not the way you do business. I don’t know if I have too much class or what, because I don’t want to say exactly what was said, but when it gets personal like it did, the line was crossed. When my work ethic is questioned, my off-season work ethic and the way I get ready for games and what I do is questioned, and it gets personal, and I’m threatened, that is absolutely the way not to do business.
“And I feel sad because I can’t say one thing bad, even with all the ups and downs and battles I had with [former coach John Tortorella], at the end of the day there was respect. In this case I was absolutely blindsided by this whole situation. I know what the response is, that things happen quickly, it’s a business, but that’s not the case when Im told one thing and I find out months later that the complete opposite went on behind my back.”
read on for more from Boyle.
Update 7:41pm ET: As noted in the comments of this post by NHL Jeff, my wording in this title is inaccurate. He hasn’t been ‘signed’, simply traded. (My apologies—it’s been a long week!)
via press release:
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has acquired defensemen Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defensemen Matt Carle and Ty Wishart, a first round selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and a fourth round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
From Phil Coffey at NHL.com:
The Buffalo Sabres acquired veteran defenseman Craig Rivet from the San Jose Sharks on Friday.
The Sharks sent the 33-year-old veteran and a seventh-round selection in the 2010 Entry Draft to the Sabres in exchange for second-round selections in the 2009 and 2010 Drafts.
Rivet will help the Sabres replace Dmitri Kalinin, who signed with the New York Rangers on Thursday.
Update 5:10pm ET: Comment from Sabres GM Darcy Regier, via press release—
“We are very excited to add such a quality veteran player to our roster. He is a great character player that will provide our club added leadership and experience.”
from Inside the Kings,
OK, here we go. For those who enjoy soap operas, strap in…
We started with Blake’s statement that the Kings never made him an offer, and with my clarification that Blake’s agent, Pat Brisson, had called Lombardi on Tuesday morning with a one-year, $4-million contract request.
So here’s the time line, according to Lombardi, with quotes from Lombardi added where appropriate.
Here’s what Pat Brisson, Rob Blake’s agent, had to say tonight about the way things went down between Blake and the Kings. It’s lengthy, but if you’ve been following the saga today, you might find it to be a good read. As I told Pat tonight, all I’m trying to get is get the information out there. People can make up their minds based upon what they believe and read. What an interesting subplot to the week though, huh?
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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