Kukla's Korner Hockey
An old cowboy once told me that a horse only has so many stops in him. He was referring to sliding stops, something required of high-level western show horses (aka reining horses). Due to the physical strain on the joints and tendons, and the high level of reactive sharpness required, a horse can only do this so many times in its life. How many? You never know, so don’t waste those stops.
Similarly, we only have so many starts in us, though we don’t know how many. Cameron MacIntyre is making a new start right now.
I might have found reason to be alarmed that Brent Burns was not present for the 10 am skate on Thursday. I am easily alarmed. I know it isn’t necessary or even good for the guys to be skating every day so far in advance of training camp. To quote Indiana Jones, “it’s not the years, honey…” but I will still get a little nervous when someone I am used to seeing isn’t there. Apparently Burns was “Out golfing at silver creek to support emq! What a course! Thanks for allowing me out here! #four! yfrog.com/gyz2cfzj.” Even for a habitual worry wart, there was no cause for alarm.
Burns was not the only one missing but he is such a big presence that you notice his absence.
The new glass and those new boards at Sharks Ice that I mentioned before: it is the same setup they will use at HP this season. It is awesomely bendy. It’s enough to make me wonder if it won’t have enough bounce to toss players back across the ice after they hit it. I don’t want anyone hurling himself around sooner than necessary but I am looking forward to seeing that glass in action.
Jon Gustafson, General Manager of Sharks Ice, provided some details: “The actual glass system sits in a pliable seat. Within the boards there is a spring mechanism which allows the glass to be more flexible.” The glass in the corners doesn’t look any wider than before, but it is also attached to the boards with the new springy mechanism. This same system is being installed in various rinks around the NHL.
Practice was a little more crowded Monday, there were even two goalies (woo hoo!) so a proper pickup game could be played. From the Sharks it was the same three as before: Burns, Greiss and MacIntyre, no new developments there. Also present were Owen Nolan, Brad Stuart and Viktor Tikhonov.
There were several fans on hand today, including some who wanted to know, and asked loudly, where Joe Pavelski is:
I took a little tour of South Bay ice rinks this morning into afternoon. Despite being on the wrong side of the Bay for convenience, I found what I was looking for. A tour was not what I had planned, it just worked out that way and it’s how I trick myself into driving all over hell and gone.
The skate was a little late getting started at Sharks Ice, which gave me time to wonder if, even after so many trips to this rink, I was wrong about where the unofficial optional and coachless practice-like activity would be taking place. I had the trusty tweet from David Pollak telling me it was to be in the south rink but the rinks are not labeled.
Since there isn’t much going on aside from the Captain’s Practice (about which I will have a few words ready in the morning, I hope), here are some thoughts about some of the new rule ideas they will be testing at the R & D Camp.
Allow hand passes in all zones
Um, no. This is hockey. Even a newbie can tell that allowing players to bat the puck around with their hands undermines the essence of the game and I can’t see what possible safety benefit it would provide. Speed up the game? Oh come on, at what cost? Part of me wants to say “no hand-passes anywhere ever!” but I hate to pick on defense.
This is an awesome idea. Hugs are much nicer than face plants into the boards.
And then there were three. Saturday evening, the Sharks acquired a third player from the Minnesota Wild, James Sheppard, in exchange for a 2013 third round pick. That’s a lot of threes. He was the 9th pick, in the ‘06 draft, age 23… Still more threes.
Let’s start with some headlines that have nothing to do with three:
From David Pollak: “Summer rerun: Sharks
another deal with Wild, acquire F James Sheppard for 2013 third-round pick.”
From Fear the Fin: “Sharks deal with Wild again,
James Sheppard to the Sharks”
The weather forecast last night went something like this: “No change in sight, lows in the 50s tonight, clear tomorrow with a high of 78.” That’s kind of how I feel about the Sharks roster right now: no worries. I’m a fairly easy sell, but I think in this case I’m not being unreasonable. For what it’s worth, Brodie Brazil is running a poll on FaceBook to see what FB fans think. So far, team “improved” is winning.
In a Twitter discussion yesterday that I can’t believe I horned in on, a certain magazine writer insisted that last season’s Sharks were better than the current roster, that if they had just kept the same group, they would have done better this year. He didn’t specifically say we need Wallin and Huskins back, just said last season the team was better.
While the extension of Brent Burns’s contract made a nice little splash in Shark Territory, it didn’t send out a lot of ripples, unless one considers Nashville’s paltry offer to Weber a ripple. I don’t.
We’re back to waiting, waiting, waiting for training camp to start. It seems like training camp is always more fun when some UFA gets a last minute invite. Is there a need for one? The Sharks cupboard seems pretty well stocked at the moment, aside from that ellusive 3rd liner. It won’t be Zherdev. He’s gone back to the KHL.
Ooh look, I knew if I waited a tiny bit longer, the Sharks would say something. They’re so shy. You have to be patient with them:
David Pollak: “MORE THAN A RUMOR: San Jose definitely interested in adding D Colin White now that Devils have bought out his contract.”
There’s a wee bit more on that at Pollak’s blog.
Burns signed a 5 year extension with the San Jose Sharks. Wow. I want to say that’s very Pisces of him, a “just do it” attitude like that. Alrighty then. (I just knew that if I started this morning’s blog entry out with “Sharks haven’t made any big announcements,” they would do something. Yeah, I meant to do that.)
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period tweeted “Wow… $5.75M/year for Burns… I didn’t think he would cash in THAT much!” Huh. I’m going to have to look up all the possible connotations of “cash in.” I think it is safe to say a lot of people expected Burns to command a little more than that, if everything went well.
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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