Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
With a talented group of centers that includes Thornton, Couture and Pavelski, the Sharks remain stacked down the middle, a tremendous asset for any NHL team. Nolan likes the fact that, despite the shock of last April’s hasty exit, the Sharks did not tear down the entire roster in a knee-jerk reaction.
“I’m sure everyone is disappointed in the way they were put out of the playoffs, but I like the way they didn't panic,” Nolan said. “This team, as a whole, is a good hockey team. They didn't panic. They didn't blow the whole thing up.”
“I believe this is a solid hockey team that can win,” Nolan said. “We'll see how they approach [last season's playoff loss]. Hopefully, they don't dwell on it, but feed off of not wanting that to happen.”
Nolan thinks that will be an earnest point of emphasis once camp opens next month -– learning from mistakes of years past, avoiding the reputation of a team that can't deliver when it counts.
“You certainly don't want to be recognized as going out early,” Nolan said. “You'll have that [sick] feeling in your stomach of not wanting to go out that way again.”
"It's never an easy decision, and it's not the only decision, but there was definitely a shake-up needed. Especially after being up 3-0 and then losing four straight to a team that we should have never lost to. You always look to your leaders and we certainly look to all our top players, not just Joe and not just Patrick, but all of our top players as a whole and when you have one goal, two assists and collectively a minus-29 in your final four games, you have to start looking to shake things up a little bit."
-San Jose Sharks associate coach Larry Robinson on removing the 'C' and 'A' from Thornton and Marleau. Robinson appeared on TSN690 today in Montreal and Fear The Fin has more from Robinson.
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
From the outside, particularly from some media that aren’t regularly in the dressing room or coach’s office, the team has been on the receiving end of some pretty harsh criticism. Some of it is certainly warranted. The Sharks were unable to trade either Thornton or Marleau, and signing the pair to three-year contract extensions with no trade clauses now seems like a mistake. At the very least, Wilson should have left himself with some flexibility there, or made them prove they had what it took to lead a team to another deep playoff run before re-upping them.
There’s more. If a guy like Joe Pavelski is eventually named captain (and he’s probably the best bet), it might cause an awkward situation in that he’ll have two former team captains sitting just a few feet away from his locker stall. The team didn’t add anyone of note other than bruiser John Scott, who likely won’t even be in the lineup half the time. A strong argument can be made, too, that the Sharks only needed to add a few pieces to a team that pushed the eventual Stanley Cup champs to seven games.
But much of that condemnation tends to conveniently forget or gloss over the issue in the dressing room, and that really is the biggest issue of all. Had there not been some sort of change, there’s no reason to believe that the Sharks wouldn’t flame out in the playoffs again, as they have so many times in the past.
via tweets from David Pollak,
SJSharks says Raffi Torres will miss first few months of season after repeat surgery on right knee because of infection.
And McLellan confirms #SJSharks will have no captain or assistants when training camp starts.
McLellan doesn't call it a "stripping" of the captaincy, says competition will be open and Thornton, like anyone else, a candidate.
added 6:10pm, San Jose Sharks release on Raffi Torres is below...
Outdoor hockey is returning to California for a second straight season, the National Hockey League announced Wednesday. This season's game features two teams which have become quite familiar with each other in recent years.
The San Jose Sharks will be the home team against the Los Angeles Kings at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on Feb. 21, 2015 at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET) as part of the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. The game will be broadcast by NBCSN and Hockey Night in Canada.
No two teams in the NHL have played against each other more than the Sharks and Kings have since the start of the 2010-11 season. They have played 41 games, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs, in the past three seasons, highlighted by seven-game series in each of the past two postseasons.
added 12:04pm, NHL release below plus logo for the game...
By Michael Shackil,
Levi’s Stadium will be the next big venue to host an NHL Stadium Series game during the upcoming 2014-2015 season. While the stadium held its first official sporting event last Saturday when soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes welcomed the Seattle Sounders, it was confirmed the stadium will play host to a February 21 game between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. This all comes after speculation surfaced following primary ticket outlet Ticketmaster.com leaking a subtle hint on Saturday, posting a link that allowed fans to purchase tickets for the Coors Light Stadium Series game in late February at Levi’s Stadium. The link has since been removed, but Ticketmaster’s brief slip-up suggested the since confirmed big event in the inaugural year of California’s newest stadium.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Despite loud promises of impending change, tomorrow is starting to look an awful lot like yesterday in San Jose. That's not sitting too well with the Sharks' fired-up fans, but once they get past their anger and frustration, they just might realize that stability isn't the worst thing.
Granted, the team isn't getting the rebuild the fans were promised by GM Doug Wilson in the aftermath of the team's opening round meltdown against the Kings.
The culture that many saw as a problem remains virtually unchanged.
The big free-agent signing of the summer has been John “Fifth Line” Scott.
San Jose chose not to re-sign Drew Remenda, one of the best analysts in the game.
And yes, the team has crossed the moral line for a small but vocal group of fans who are offended by the idea of adding cheerleaders to the game presentation.
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at The Hockey News,
Logan Couture doesn't have to look far to be reminded of the San Jose Sharks' playoff collapse against the Los Angeles Kings.
His surgically repaired right hand still has scars from last month's surgery, and the recovery has been slow. He expects the hand, injured in a fight with Kings centre Mike Richards, to be OK by training camp.
And Couture works out with Kings defenceman Drew Doughty, who was set to have his day with the Stanley Cup on Friday. Doughty doesn't chirp his good friend, but that doesn't stop Couture from thinking about the painful first-round series loss.
"I think every time I see hockey on TV or read about it in the paper," he said.
The Sharks were in command of the series, up three games to none. But they proceeded to become the just the fourth team in NHL history to blow that lead. The Kings won the Cup, and the Sharks were left to wonder what went wrong.
Couture doesn't ponder what he and his teammates could've done differently. The thoughts are more simple than that.
SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Jason Demers (@JasonDemers5) to a two-year contract.
"Jason has been a solid, offensive defenseman and is coming off a good season," said Wilson. "His skill set and his age mesh well within our overall group and we're happy to have him signed for two more years."
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
The Sharks are not backing down from their plan to recruit "ice girls" to help clean the playing surface during each game despite a backlash from a segment of their fan base.
"Fans take pride in the Sharks not objectifying women. Please keep the Tank a family environment," SharksFanTX wrote on Twitter. Another ended her Twitter complaint with an "#icegirlsareadealbreaker" hashtag, vowing to cancel season tickets if the team sticks with its plan. And with little publicity, a "Say NO to Sharks Ice Girls" page on Facebook, as well as a similar petition at change.org, attracted more than 325 supporters each.
In defending their offseason decision, the Sharks stress that they are assembling an "ice team," which -- like the present maintenance crew -- will include men and women.
"We are not modeling our ice team in the same manner as other teams do in the NHL or other professional sports teams with cheerleaders," Sharks chief operating officer John Tortora said. "We're doing it in a way that works for us within our game experience and that is tasteful for San Jose."
A FAQ page at the Sharks' website...
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com