Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: san jose sharks
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' Sunday notebook is quite good, and it includes another take on Phil Kessel's worth, a note about the "analytics department" teams' coaching records (with an emphasis on "coaches," plural), and a great quip from Randy Carlyle about the coach-critiquing business, but given Carlyle's status and the Maple Leafs' desire to hire a head coach after this season, this seems like the most appropriate place to start:
[Mike] Babcock is a pending free agent who wants big money and a big opportunity to win wherever he ends up coaching next hockey season — assuming he leaves Detroit, which isn’t in any way certain.
The Leafs can offer up money. They can’t guarantee contender status.
That leaves the Leafs open to playing a different waiting game of sorts. Rather than wait for the available free agent, they will monitor the list of those who potentially could be out of work at season’s end.
High on their list of candidates are Todd McLellan in San Jose and Dave Tippett in Arizona. Should either of those coaches be let go, the Leafs would likely act quickly. The same is certainly true in St. Louis, should Ken Hitchcock’s Blues be eliminated again in the first round of the playoffs and a change be made there. And the least likely candidate is Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim, a Leafs lover who has had a history of terrific regular seasons and not-so-terrific post seasons.
This much is obvious: The Leafs had little interest in Barry Trotz and Peter Laviolette, who have gone into Washington and Nashville and made an immediate impact. The internal belief was Randy Carlyle was equal to, if not better than, either of those coaches.
Should the Caps and Predators qualify for the post-season and the Leafs fall short, that decision by club president Brendan Shanahan and general manager Dave Nonis will have proven, if it hasn’t already, to be incorrect.
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Tags: barry+trotz, detroit+red+wings, mike+babcock, nashville+predators, peter+laviolette, phoenix+coyotes, randy+carlyle, san+jose+sharks, todd+mclellan, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals
The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa spends the first part of his weekly notebook discussing the evolution of the Department of Player Safety from the Matt Cooke-on-Marc Savard hit some four years ago to the implementation of rules against hits to the head and the most recent example of the league punishing a player for a hit to the head in the John Moore-on-Erik Haula hit, but then he goes on to launch a rather passionate defense of John Scott's decision to leave the San Jose Sharks' bench to fight Tim Jackman.
It's a curious contradiction, and I'm curious as to what you think about this:
John Scott is out $17,073.18 after the league suspended him for two games following his fight last Sunday with Anaheim’s Tim Jackman. The Sharks should do the right thing and get that cash back in Scott’s pocket. On the play, the San Jose tough guy did exactly what his employer hired him to do. Scott and Jackman had tangled earlier in the game.
Scott didn’t have issues about that fight. But the ex-Sabre didn’t appreciate Jackman’s third-period engagement of Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Jackman had 10 scraps last season, according to http://www.hockeyfights.com Vlasi.c, the Sharks’ ace defenseman and one of their best players, has one career fight: a hiss-and-scratcher against Daniel Briere in 2009.
Prior to the start of Thursday's Los Angeles Kings-San Jose Sharks game, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held his annual start-of-the-year "state of the game" speech and media Q and A session. NHL.com's Dan Rosen provides a transcript thereof:
On how much of the League's success last season comes from having the Stanley Cup champions in the second largest media market in the United States:
"Market size, particularly when you're dealing with major media markets, has an impact in terms of gathering attention. But I got asked that question when I did the media avail before the Stanley Cup Final started and it's frankly more important what's taking place on the ice. You can have the biggest markets in the world, but if the game isn't exciting, compelling and competitive it's not going to generate a lot of interest. The Kings, for example, had a magical, spectacular run in last year's playoffs, and I think that was as important, if not more, than it was taking place with a team based in Los Angeles.
"It's interesting, we talk about competitiveness and competitive balance, and you see it. As the season starts most of the prognostications I'm seeing are all over the place as to who is going to make the playoffs and who is going to win the Cup. Nobody knows, but there aren't a whole lot of teams that are out of the conversation. That's one of the things we think is paramount about our system."
The Q and A continues at extensive length...
NHL.com's Dan Rosen asked San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan 5 questions, and the first one got right to the heart of the "rebuilding" matter:
People are curious about what's going on in San Jose when Doug Wilson brings up the term rebuild. Can you explain the philosophy regarding what this offseason is about for the Sharks?
"We want to reset the hierarchy and culture in the organization, and that's really where the term rebuild came from. We feel we have a tremendous talent pool. We feel the players that are with our organization are part of the solution and not the problem now. As a staff, we talked about the ability to push and win as much as we can while we get younger, while we adjust the roles a little bit and give some of the younger players more responsibility. The term or the word used like that can be confusing at times. I think a lot of people, especially in the media, immediately went to, 'Well, they're going to trade Thornton and Marleau.' That's not the case. We believe that those two are part of the solution, not part of the problem. That got a lot of play media-wise. That's not what we were about. We think we have a very good hockey club and we think we need to tinker with a few things and continue to push forward."
You are probably familiar with the dynamics of the Joe Thornton situation (seems like the theory is, "Take the 'C' away, see if he waives the no-trade," as ESPN's Craig Custance reported), you are probably familiar with the dynamics of the Ryan Kesler trade (he says he's going to where deserves to be, and in Vancouver, it's, "Everybody thought he was a dick"), so:
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch pulled double-time in covering the Sens' picks, Jason Spezza's situation (what's so bad about a guy turning down a trade to a team that's on his no-trade list? Emo GM Bryan Murray will tell you) and positing a Sunday rumor column, and he addresses a situation we haven't necessarily talked about as of yet:
There has been a lot of controversy in Chicago over whether the Hawks have been trying to deal forward Patrick Sharp or not. While it was heavily denied by Sharp’s agent Rick Curran that his client was on the move, Sharp’s name has been popping up all over the place in trade talks. Several teams say he’s available, so it will be interesting to see if he’s still there when push comes to shove after this summer. The Hawks are already over the salary cap and will have to cut money somewhere.
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Tags: boston+bruins, chicago+blackhawks, chris+kelly, colorado+avalanche, joe+thornton, matt+niskanen, patrick+sharp, paul+stastny, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+kesler, san+jose+sharks, thomas+vanek, vancouver+canucks
The free agent "wining and dining period" has been a bit of a pain in the rear to keep up with, but it's at least intriguing to witness player agents just cut out the middleman and tell actual reputable sources, "Oh yeah, we met with team X, team Y and team Z" instead of having to read someone's column about "league sources" (who are almost always agents or hopeful GM's).
But the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch has arrived in Philadelphia, and it wouldn't be the draft or five days till free agency if Garrioch didn't provide us with both an update on Jason Spezza's status...
It's believed as many as five teams -- including St. Louis, Anaheim, Phoenix, Nashville and Florida -- have made calls on the Ottawa captain. The club is mulling over what route to take.
With Spezza requesting a trade, the Senators would like to have a deal in place by Friday, but the club would like to get a No. 1 pick to replace the one Ottawa gave up in the deal for Bobby Ryan with Anaheim last summer.
Murray along with assistant GM's Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee were expected to sit down Wednesday to discuss the different scenarios because this is a deal that has a chance to be a game-changer.
Updated with LeBrun stuff at 6:57 PM:
TSN's Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie discussed pre-draft trade and free agent discussions in an edition of Insider Trading that lasts for nearly four minutes. TSN usually posts a summation thereof, but if you don't want to wait until 7:30 or 8...
1. McKenzie says that there are 3 teams in the Western Conference (Anaheim, St. Louis +?) and 1 "mystery team" in the Eastern Conference who are talking to the Ottawa Senators about Jason Spezza (who has a no-trade list of 10 teams, incl. Florida, Carolina, Columbus and the Islanders). McKenzie says the Senators want a 1st-round draft pick as part of the compensation package.
2. Dreger says that David Bolland wants "maximum value," and he wants an 8-year deal at $4.9 million to remain with the Leafs. Toronto probably won't give him the term he wants, but Bolland believes he'll be healthy by training camp;
3. Dreger says that the Oilers are looking for a center and a defenseman, and they're willing to trade the 3rd overall pick and/or Sam Gagner in their efforts to improve the team, which may include trading for the Panthers' 1st overall pick;
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks, dale+tallon, dan+boyle, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, jason+spezza, joe+thornton, paul+stastny, ryan+kesler, sam+gagner, san+jose+sharks, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks
From the NHL:
NHL ANNOUNCES 2013-14 ALL-STAR TEAMS
LAS VEGAS (June 24, 2014) -- Center Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and defenseman Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, who each earned his third career berth on the First All-Star Team, head the list of players voted to the 2013-14 National Hockey League postseason All-Star Teams. Crosby received First Team honors for the second consecutive season, while Chara earned a spot on the First Team for the first time since 2008-09.
Joining Crosby and Chara are two second-time selections to the First Team, right wing Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks. The squad also features two first-time recipients, left wing Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars and goaltender Tuukka Rask of the Bruins.
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+pietrangelo, anaheim+ducks, boston+bruins, boston+bruins., chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, corey+perry, dallas+stars, duncan+keith, jamie+benn, joe+pavelski, nashville+predators, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+getzlaf, san+jose+sharks, semyon+varlamov, shea+weber, sidney+crosby, st.+louis+blues, washington+capitals, zdeno+chara
The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek presented a Canada-centric look at the NHL's 2014-2015 season schedule on Sunday evening, and he revealed that the NHL will probably hold an outdoor game in California for the second consecutive season:
For the upcoming season, there is one Winter Classic – Jan. 1 in Washington, where the Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks – but it is believed that a Feb. 21 date between the Kings and the Sharks will also be played outdoors in the Bay Area, after the NHL successfully pulled off an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium last January. The NHL is firming up the details of its outdoor schedule, though it is believed the number of games will be sharply reduced from the six that were on the schedule a year ago, Last year, the NHL flooded the market with outdoor games primarily for two reasons – to generate additional revenues coming out of a lockout that saw the cancellation of 34 games per team; and to draw attention back to the league before and after the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Three of the six outdoor games came just before the NHL took its Olympic break and two others came immediately afterward.
With no Olympics to bother with this year, the NHL All-Star Game returns to the schedule after a one-year hiatus, with Columbus hosting the 2015 event during a four-day between Jan. 22-26.
Continued with more "key dates"...
Somewhat ironically, on the same day that the Mercury News's Mark Purdy reported that the San Jose Sharks want to renegotiate their cable TV deal, their cable TV provider, Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area, made a controversial personnel decision. The Mercury News's David Pollak reports that long-time Sharks color commentator Drew Remenda has been informed that his services will no longer be needed:
"They decided not to renew my contract," Remenda said Tuesday. "It wasn't because of anything I did or anything wrong. It was explained to me they wanted to take the broadcast in a different direction. Honestly, we parted amicably."
Remenda, who just completed his 13th season as television analyst alongside Randy Hahn, was an assistant coach with the Sharks from 1991 to 1995 before becoming an analyst. Prior to his TV spot, he was the radio color commentator working with Dan Rusanowsky.
"When I first got there as an assistant coach, they asked me what was my goal," Remenda said. "I said I hoped I'd be there for five years. I ended up being there for 20. I would love to tell you there's some big conspiracy there, but they've been great to me."
Remenda said he had "kind of an inkling," his contract might not be renewed, so hearing the actual words from chief operating officer John Tortora was not that difficult.
"The hardest thing is to think I'm not a San Jose Shark any more," Remenda said.
The Mercury News's Tim Kawakami retweeted this at 11 PM EDT, and this qualifies as late-breaking blockbuster news of a sort. The Mercury News's Mark Purdy reports that the "rebuilding" San Jose Sharks have a very large problem that's harming their off-ice viability:
Simply put, the Sharks' local television contract is not acceptable to them. They think it stinks. Stinks so bad, in fact, that it could affect the team's long-term ability to stay in San Jose and the Bay Area.
This has nothing to do with the departure of popular television analyst Drew Remenda, which was made public Tuesday. That's unfortunate, but comparatively small potatoes.
How serious is the concern over the Sharks' television deal? I have learned and confirmed that National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman has taken the extraordinary step of personally intervening in the matter. Bettman has contacted high-level honchos at Comcast corporate offices in Philadelphia to see if the Sharks' local television deal can be reworked. Comcast is the parent company of Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area, which broadcasts Shark games. So far, the Bettman talks have not been fruitful.
Here's the issue: The Sharks' local deal pales compared to most other NHL teams. The team is in the middle of a long-term contract with Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area that yields the Sharks $7 million per season. And it has 14 more seasons to run.
The Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger posited a pair of speculation-based columns on Friday evening, wondering aloud whether Dan Bylsma might be a "fit" for the Canucks, and he also suggested that the Toronto Maple Leafs and several other teams have inquired as to the availability of San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton:
It should come as no surprise, then, that the Leafs are among at least six NHL teams who have kicked tires concerning Thornton’s availability.
And why wouldn’t they? With centre being a position of need for the Leafs ever since Mats Sundin left, why not make an inquiry if someone of Thornton’s ilk might possibly come on the market?
Leafs general manager Dave Nonis has often said that GMs often ask each other about the chances of players being on the block. As he has pointed out in the past, it’s part of a GM’s job to do his due diligence.
That doesn’t mean that it has gotten anywhere near the point of offers being exchanged. So, those of you who already have a Thornton deal worked out in which Dion Phaneuf goes to San Jose to replace the recently traded Dan Boyle, slow down.
The Associated Press reports that San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson plans on making several changes to his team, and he's more than willing to share his agenda with those who'll listen:
Wilson said Thursday that he told pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Dan Boyle that he will not be re-signed, informed unproductive forward Martin Havlat that he will not be back next season and moved top-line wing Brent Burns back to defense after he had spent more than a year as a forward on captain Joe Thornton's line.
These changes come two weeks after the Sharks became the fourth team in NHL history to lose a best-of-seven series after winning the first three games.
Wilson spent the past two weeks meeting with coaches and players to help determine what went wrong in the final four games against Los Angeles and how to get a team that has been one of the best in the regular season the past decade over the playoff hump.
"You want to be careful not to change too many things, but you better be really careful that you're not just avoiding what really needs to take place," Wilson said. "There's two sides to that. I think what we need to do is much more drastic than just putting a Band-Aid on it."
Assistant coach Larry Robinson will be back but could have an expanded role that includes some front-office duties. ... Wilson said talks have already begun to keep backup G Alex Stalock, who can be an unrestricted free agent. ... Pavelski (shoulder) and F Raffi Torres (knee) had operations after the season.
The New York Rangers' salary structure is quite top-heavy, so both the Rangers' beat writers and those following the team from afar have suggested that the Rangers will have to use a cap-compliance buyout on either Rick Nash or Brad Richards.
The combination of Brad Richards' resurgence under Alain Vigneault (to the tune of 51 points for his Capgeek-listed $6.67 million cap hit) and Rick Nash's struggles (39 points in 63 games and a no-show come playoff time for a cap hit of $7.8 million) have those in the know suggesting that Nash is the odd man out.
This morning, the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson wonders where Nash's game went given that the 6'4," 213-pound winger's become a perimeter player in the first of three "Hockey World" columns:
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Tags: adam+oates, alex+tanguay, antti+niemi, barry+trotz, brad+richards, colorado+avalanche, marian+hossa, new+york+rangers, paul+holmgren, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, ryan+miller, san+jose+sharks, scotty+bowman
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons goes over his usual wide array of topics in this Sunday's column, but his "lede" involves a suggestion that the San Jose Sharks' decision to retain Todd McLellan's services prevented the new Atlantic Division from including a trio of current or former members of the Red Wings' coaching staff behind its teams' benches:
At least four NHL teams, two not necessarily looking to replace their coach, were prepared to make a pitch to McLellan, had he been made available.
One of those teams is believed to be the Maple Leafs, who have been silent on Randy Carlyle’s status since their season ended and Brendan Shanahan was anointed as team president.
And at the same time, had Carlyle been let loose by the Leafs, there were two other teams interested in hiring him to coach.
Now, with McLellan probably staying in San Jose, the likelihood is the Leafs won’t wait long to confirm that Carlyle will return in his position as coach: He has one year left on his contract.
Simmons continues at length...
From the NHL:
NEW YORK (April 29, 2014) – The National Hockey League today announced updated start time information for the First Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
- The starting time for a potential Game 7 of the series between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, if necessary, has been set for 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 30, in New York. In the U.S., the game would be seen on NBCSN, MSG and CSN Philadelphia. In Canada, the game would be televised on TSN and RDSI.
- The starting time for Game 7 of the series between the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild has been set for 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. MT on Wednesday, April 30, in Colorado. In the U.S. outside of the Colorado and Minnesota markets, the game will be seen on CNBC. In Canada, the game will be on TSN and RDS2.
- The starting time for Game 7 of the series between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings has been set for 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Wednesday, April 30, in San Jose. In the U.S., the game will be televised on NBCSN outside of the San Jose and Los Angeles markets. In Canada, the game will be televised on CBC and RDS.
The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are going to seven games in no small part due to Chris Lee's decision to allow Justin Williams to pitchfork Alex Stalock into the net, puck betwixt his toes:
Per CBS Sports' Chris Peters:
After Lee briefly spoke with the league's Situation Room in Toronto, he informed the crowd it was not a reviewable play and the goal counted. The Sharks bench was incensed, naturally.
The intent to blow rule is murky. Goals can be disallowed “when the referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle” (Rule 78.5, subsection xii). At that point, it was up to Lee to deem the play stopped. He didn't and therefore it's a goal.
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson kicked off his last regular-season slate of Hockey World columns with individual awards picks, and his pick for the Vezina Trophy is a surprising one:
Vezina Trophy (top goalie)
1. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado.
2. Tuukka Rask, Boston
3. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay
Had off-ice issues this year which weighed on him but very consistent work. Rask is best Finnish goalie right now, and they’ve got a full stable of good ones around the NHL. Bishop, nursing sore wrist as playoffs loom, is a six-foot-seven giant and a workhorse.
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Tags: antti+niemi, calgary+flames, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, evander+kane, george+mcphee, henrik+zetterberg, jonathan+ericsson, ken+holland, ryan+smyth, san+jose+sharks, semyon+varlamov, vezina+trophy, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets
It's not a late-season game without a dirty hit or two, so Stephane Quintal and the Shanahan-less Department of Player Safety might want to look at a hit which occurred during the Colorado Avalanche's 5-1 loss to San Jose:
Tyson Barrie took a hard hit from Jason Demers, and the Denver Post's Terry Frei reports that the shoulder-to-head hit yielded...The kind of injury update you'd expect from Patrick Roy's playoff-bound team:
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson leads us up to the trade deadline wondering whether the trade deadline will in fact play out as witnessing Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose and Anaheim attempt to strike back at the St. Louis Blues' preemptive roster-strenghtening strike in bringing Ryan Miller and Steve Ott into the fold:
Do the Kings have to get New York Islanders’ unrestricted free agent winger Thomas Vanek now, even if the whole world knows Vanek is going to sign in Minnesota, where he has a summer home? Or should they go for Matt Moulson, who played 29 games with L.A. after general manager Dean Lombardi signed him as a free agent out of Cornell University in 2006?
Do the Ducks, who have two first-round picks and two seconds this June and need a right-handed shooting defenceman, take a big swing at six-foot-eight Tyler Myers in Buffalo, even though his salary-cap hit is $5.5 million? They could offer somebody like forward Kyle Palmeiri, but would probably keep winger Emerson Etem and goalie Viktor Fasth.
Are the Sharks deep enough with the return of third-line winger Raffi Torres following knee surgery, No. 2 centre Logan Couture (hand operation), and rookie sensation winger Tomas Hertl (knee) skating again?
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, andrew+macdonald, buffalo+sabres, chris+phillips, christian+ehrhoff, dean+lombardi, kyle+palmieri, los+angeles+kings, matt+moulson, new+york+islanders, ryan+callahan, san+jose+sharks, thomas+vanek, tomas+hertl, tyler+myers
The NHL blew a call big time during the overtime period of the San Jose Sharks' 5-4 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, and as the hockey world runs on Twitter, those who stayed up late to watch the game took note of the missed goal that wasn't reviewed:
This trade's a bit of a puzzler to me, per the Edmonton Oilers...
The Edmonton Oilers have traded fourth-line winger Mike Brown to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 4th round pick in 2014.
Brown was acquired by the Oilers from the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 4, 2013 for a 4th round pick.
The forward played in 27 games in 2012-13 scoring one goal and adding 53 penalty minutes.
He has played in eight games this season with no points and 19 penalty minutes.
And San Jose Sharks:
San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl scored four goals in the San Jose Sharks' 9-2 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night:
As Paul noted, Tim Thomas appeared to tweak his groin or some othe part of his "lower body" in the Florida Panthers' 2-1 loss to Philly on Tuesday, and while I was preparing to have my beard trimmed for the first time in six years, Pro Hockey Talk's Ryan Dadoun notes that Niklas Backstrom got dinged in the Wild's 3-2 loss to Nashville...
[T]he Minnesota Wild are reporting that netminder Niklas Backstrom is done for the night due to a similar problem.
Backstrom lasted just 11:14 minutes against the Nashville Predators and surrendered two goals on five shots. He sustained the injury when Nashville forward Eric Nystrom crashed into him and seemed to accidentally jam Backstrom’s leg against the post.
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Tags: brad+stuart, eric+nystrom, erik+gudbranson, florida+panthers, minnesota+wild, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers, niklas+backstrom, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, san+jose+sharks, scott+hartnell, tim+thomas
Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed
It Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins Puck dropped in Boston to start the season for the two Atlantic teams’ first game of the 2013-14 season. Neither team wasted much time getting on the box score; however, to start it was on the penalty side. A hooking call to Bruins Reilly Smith would lead to a shorthanded goal by teammate Chris Kelly.
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Tags: boston+bruins, calgary+flames, ilya+bryzgalov+to+the+echl, los+angeles+kings, minnesota+wild, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks, tampa+bay+lightning, tim+thomas+returns, vancouver+canucks, vlasic+skate+to+face, washington+capitals
From the Sharks:
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has re-signed Group III un-restricted free agent forward Patrick Marleau and Group II restricted free agent forward Joe Pavelski to four-year contracts. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deals was not disclosed.
“We are very pleased that Patty and Joe have committed to this organization now and in the future,” said Wilson. “They expressed a strong belief in the direction this franchise is heading but also understand the challenges to keeping a talented group like ours together.
“Both players had a tremendous regular season, excelled on the ice for their respective countries at the Winter Olympics and elevated their game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They have solidified their place in the game among the League’s top forwards and we are excited as an organization to have Joe and Patty back in San Jose to build on what we accomplished last season.”
From the Thrashers:
The Atlanta Thrashers have traded defenseman Mike Vernace, forward Brett Sterling and a seventh-round selection (188th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations, according to General Manager Rick Dudley.
Vernace, 24, appeared in 62 American Hockey League games last season for the Chicago Wolves and Hamilton Bulldogs, tallying 13 points (two goals, 11 assists).
The 6-2, 200-pound defenseman appeared in 12 NHL games with Colorado during the 2008-09 season and has posted 71 points (nine goals, 62 assists) in 236 career AHL games with the Albany River Rats, Lake Erie Monsters, Chicago Wolves and Hamilton Bulldogs. Prior to his professional career, Vernace recorded 124 points (23 goals, 101 assists) in 138 career games with the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League
Per various sources, the Minnesota Wild have obtained enforcer Brad Staubitz from the San Jose Sharks for a 2010 5th-round draft pick.
From the Sharks:
SAN JOSE – San Jose Sharks defenseman and team Captain Rob Blake today formally announced his retirement from the game of hockey, following 20 remarkable seasons in the National Hockey League.
A Norris Trophy winner in 1998 with Los Angeles (finalist in 2000 and 2002) and a Stanley Cup champion in 2001 with Colorado, Blake will be remembered as one of the finest offensive defenseman to ever play the game.
He finishes with 777 NHL points (240 goals, 537 assists) which places him 18th all-time among all NHL defensemen. His 240 goals rank tenth all-time and his 136 power play goals place him third all-time among blueliners. In 1,270 NHL games (20th all-time among defensemen) with Los Angeles, Colorado and San Jose, Blake fired 3,896 shots, the fourth-most attempts by any NHL rearguard.
TSN believes Campbell has been dealt to San Jose. No details yet.
Update 11:31am ET: From TSN,
Unable to sign their potential unrestricted free agent to a long-term deal, the Buffalo Sabres have traded defenceman Brian Campbell to the San Jose Sharks.
There are no details yet on who comes to Buffalo in return.
Update 11:35 ET: TSN link above now states trade is for Steve Bernier and a first-round draft pick.
From Neil Stevens at the CP via Yahoo!,
Living in the Detroit region doesn’t mean he buys into the Red Wings’ marketing slogans.
“My whole life I’ve tried to explain to people in America ... being in Detroit, it’s Hockeytown, so they say,” he said. “I call it Red Wings Town. Canada is Hockeytown, there’s no doubt about it. The fabric of the sport is Canadian for sure.”
Media attention paid to the Leafs “seems a lot more magnified now” than in his day. That could be explained by the proliferation of all-sports TV and radio stations since his playing days. He has only one regret.
“There’s nothing like it,” he said of playing in the NHL. “I had great personal accolades and individual accomplishments. I won championships at every level. The only thing I didn’t win was a Stanley Cup. There isn’t a day that goes by ... that’s the one thing I always think about.”
more… of an enjoyable interview with Al Iafrate
from Media News,
Maybe the only person unimpressed with the incredible pass that San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton made six minutes into the second period Wednesday night was Thornton himself.
“It was just unbelievable,” said Sharks captain Patrick Marleau, who converted Thornton’s cross-ice feed for the Sharks’ second goal.
“If that’s not the play of the month,” said Sharks coach Ron Wilson. “Man, that was a pass and a half. That was Gretzky and then some.”
from Working the Corners,
Limit teams to only four skaters in their own defensive zone. That does two things — unclogs the scoring areas and legitimizes the cherry-picking scoring threat who never wanted to worry about defense anyway. Opposing coaches would have to decide whether to have someone hang with the cherry-picker or go for the man advantage in the offensive zone. Linesmen would have responsibility for whistling a new penalty — too many men inside the blue line.
Wilson acknowledges that he and his fellow coaches deserve some of the blame for the current drop in scoring since play resumed after the lockout.
“I feel when we’re confident and playing our best, there aren’t too many teams that can compete with us,” Thornton said. “That’s the raw deal. But we just haven’t been getting it from everybody right now. But I really do still believe that after 20-something games, we haven’t even hit the sky yet. We’ve got a lot to improve, but we’ll get there this year.”
more on the Sharks in this piece from Scott Burnside of ESPN.
from the Mercury News,
And of course, when you’re talking about a hockey team’s attitude, you tend to look at the captain. That would be Patrick Marleau. He is the ultimate Mr. Climate Control. A coincidence?
Marleau’s biggest asset might also be his biggest weakness. His demeanor seems to stay the same, no matter what goes on around him. He’s never too excited. He’s never too depressed.
But when Marleau is stuck in a scoring slump, as he is right now, his climate-control personality
makes his critics want to smash their thermometers in frustration. They would like to see - heck, so would I - him show a little more fire on crucial shifts.
more (reg. may be req.)
from Media News via Inside Bay Area,
Sharks coach Ron Wilson knows that his name has been kicked around in the hockey media at various points this season as someone who needs to be worried about his job.
He routinely shrugs that off. And Tuesday, he used his team’s strong play in its own zone — second fewest goals allowed, second fewest shots allowed — to help explain why.
“If we were bad defensively, yeah, I’d be, ‘It’s me,’” Wilson said. “The only way you can play defense is if you have a team committed to doing something. If I’ve lost the whole team, why are we playing so well defensively?”
via the San Jose Sharks,
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has signed defenseman Matt Carle to a four-year contract extension. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“When you look at the number of players that have committed to this organization over the last few years – guys like Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Jonathan Cheechoo, Evgeni Nabokov, Craig Rivet, Milan Michalek – it’s easy to want to be here,” said Carle. “The front office has proven that they are serious about winning multiple Stanley Cups and that’s something I want to be a part of.”
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca,
The San Jose Sharks have finally shown signs of why so many people picked them to win the Stanley Cup this season (including me). They’ve picked up points in six straight games (4-0-2) to take first place in the Pacific Division with 25 points (11-7-3).
“We like what we have, it’s just a matter of applying it on a nightly basis,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson told sportsnet.ca. “When we do apply ourselves, we’re a pretty good hockey team. When we don’t, we’re an average hockey team.”
LECAVALIER, NABOKOV AND ERAT NAMED NHL ‘THREE STARS’ OF THE WEEK
FIRST STAR—VINCENT LECAVALIER, C, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Lecavalier earned the NHL’s First Star award for the second consecutive week, leading the League in scoring with eight points (four goals, four assists) in just two games. Lecavalier tied a career high with five points (three goals, two assists) in a 6-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Nov. 14, also matching franchise records for points in a period (2-2—4 in the second period) and single-game plus-minus (+5). He notched three points (one goal, two assists) in a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals Nov. 16, setting a franchise mark by tallying multiple points in his seventh consecutive game (6-13—19). Lecavalier has moved into first place in the NHL scoring race with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists), two ahead of Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg (14-16—30) and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby (11-19—30). The Lightning (10-8-1, 21 points) carry a five-game winning streak into tonight’s contest at Atlanta.
from Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
A couple of you have asked about the amount of access I get to players and coaches. Here’s a snapshot of the way things are set up.
As soon as the first player leaves the ice at practice, the room is considered open. Reporters (and, yes, I’m the only beat writer covering the team this season, but AP does show up now and then as do columnists and other bloggers) can go into the room where players take off their skates and uniforms. I’m free to approach anyone I want at that point.
Most of the interviews are very informal, one-on-one, though in some cases – say the buildup to Jeremy Roenick’s 500th goal — there might be two or three people talking with him at once,
from MediaNews via Inside Bay Area,
Apparently something is left in Ozolinsh’s tank. He has a goal and an assist in six games, and already is averaging 21:30 of ice time per game. Ozolinsh has become a take-charge presence, giving the Sharks a legitimate blue-line scoring threat.
“If I was coming back, I was going to try to play the way I know I could, or not come back at all,” Ozolinsh said. “I don’t really want to remember the recent past, but I didn’t want to be out there again, squeezing the stick so hard that I could see my fingerprints in it, or sitting back and worried to death about making a mistake. If I wanted to play hockey, I had to do it the way I played before.”
From the CP via TSN,
Roenick raised his hands and yelled as soon as the referee signalled the goal. He was immediately mobbed by his teammates.
The game was delayed a few minutes as Roenick skated in front of the Sharks’ bench with the puck raised above his head. He pointed into the stands as the crowd gave him an extended standing ovation. Even a few of the Coyotes joined in tapping their sticks.
Roenick became the third American-born player to reach 500 goals. The nine-time all-star ranks 40th in goals and 44th in points on the NHL career lists.
added 6:40am, Check out the videos…
from the Mercury News,
When Ron Wilson was asked recently how many games he planned to play goalie Evgeni Nabokov this season, the Sharks coach leaned back in his office chair and pretended to do the math in his head.
“Well, we have 82 regular-season games, and then add in the playoffs . . . ” Wilson said.
He was kidding.
read on (reg. may be req.)
From John Buccigross at ESPN,
Last Friday afternoon, I was sure of two things:
1. You will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever see me in a pair of Crocs.
2. Jeremy Roenick would never say no to anything media related.
The first will forever hold true. But, much to my surprise, while Roenick was answering your e-mails over the phone, he told me that media exchanges like this will be few and far between this season.
STOP THE PRESSES!
Video below features ESPN’s Top Plays of the Week:
According to this Institute, the hit Jack Johnson put on Milan Michalek last night registered a 5.7!
from the Mercury News,
Two goals in 12 games? This puts Cheechoo on pace to score between 13 and 14 goals in an 82-game season. It isn’t the Cheechoo way.
See net, hit net, pump fist. That is the Cheechoo way. Two years ago, he had 56 goals to lead the NHL. Last season, he topped the team with 37 goals. But so far this season, he has lost his mojo. Sharks Coach Ron Wilson has moved Cheechoo off the top line - and has even occasionally used him on the penalty kill, to help get Cheechoo’s mind off his scoring speed bump and have him simply think about playing hockey.
more (reg. may be req.)
From David Pollak at the Mercury News,
The guy hasn’t been around the locker room long enough for the Sharks to agree on his nickname - Coach Ron Wilson calls him Seto, Joe Thornton refers to him as Gooch.
Either way, rookie Devin Setoguchi was the difference-maker Monday night, scoring two third-period goals in his first NHL game to lead the Sharks to a 4-2 comeback victory over the Dallas Stars.
My vote is definitely ‘Seto’. Anyway, just for the heck of it, here’s the video from ESPN showing his career highlights thus far. Nice way to start.
From Mike Heika at The Dallas Morning News,
Tonight could be a memorable night for USA Hockey.
Stars center Mike Modano sits two points shy of tying Phil Housley for the most points by an American-born player. San Jose forward Jeremy Roenick is two goals shy of becoming only the third American-born player to record 500 goals in his career. Roenick said he’d like to see both milestones attained on the same night.
“It would be nice, because Mike would be in the building,” said Roenick, who contemplated retirement in the off-season. “He’s one of the guys who told me, ‘Hey, you’ve got to stick around,’ which meant the world to me.”
from the Mercury News,
“The only people to blame in this whole situation are the players,” said Rivet, who spent all or parts of 12 seasons in Montreal before coming to San Jose in a trade last February. “The coaching staff gives us a detailed system to go out and play. It’s not difficult. This team’s been playing it for a long time.
“Guys just aren’t prepared to work right now and there’s far too many guys that are not giving 100 percent and in turn, not giving us the success that we want.”
From David Pollak at The Mercury News,
The current challenge is curling, a popular Canadian sport and the main event on the Sharks’ three-night retreat into the Canadian Rockies west of Calgary.
“This is my first time ever,” Roenick said. “Americans aren’t very good curlers.”
The Sharks are visiting here for the second consecutive year. With three days off between Monday night’s 4-1 victory over the Flames and Friday night’s game at Detroit, the NHL schedule all but dictated this stopover.
“It would be asinine to travel back here to practice, and then have another flight to Detroit,” Sharks Coach Ron Wilson said before the team left San Jose on its four-game trip. “It’s actually cheaper to do this.”