Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/02/09 at 01:44 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Like a lot of NHL teams these days, the San Jose Sharks are mindful more than ever of the importance of the paying customer. To that end, the Sharks annually put staff and players into the community, to hand-deliver season-ticket renewals prior to the start of training camp.
For Sharks’ coach Todd McLellan, the exercise had a secondary value beyond its public-relations value. It helped him put the finger on the pulse of what the average Sharks fan was thinking. And yes – all that anti-Joe Thornton, anti-Patty Marleau sentiment that swept the NHL in the aftermath of their opening-round upset playoff loss to the Anaheim Ducks was also deeply rooted in San Jose, the anti-Phoenix, one of the few markets in the NHL’s U.S. expansion that has been a success story right from the beginning.
“My pain individually is one-year pain,” said McLellan, who began his second season behind the Sharks’ bench Thursday night, by absorbing a painful 5-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. “For the fans and other people in the organization, it’s longer. So when you go out in the community, you can sense a frustration level. I think the lightning rods – fairly or unfairly – are always Marleau and Thornton. They’re the two best players on our hockey club, so that comes with the territory.
continued plus many more NHL topics…
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