Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Category: NHL

Sharks sign several (6?) players

NHL Free Agency 2012, Day Two

Monday, the Sharks confirmed that defenseman Matt Irwin and center Bracken Kearns had signed contracts for the upcoming season.  They also announced that goalie Al Stalock has accepted their offer, and that they have signed defenseman Danny Groulx, who returns to North America after two seasons in the KHL.  All those contracts are for one-year.

This evening, Lavoie tweeted out another Sharks signing, that of John McCarthy.  I’m on record as being a fan of McCarthy, so I was very grateful to Mr. Lavoie for delivering this news.  Since he was right about Kearns, I’ll believe him about this one too:

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  Tags: al+stalock, bracken+kearns, danny+groulx, john+mccarthy, jon+matsumoto, matt+irwin, worcester+sharks

Just business

NHL Free Agency 2012, Day One

Today started off pretty well for the sort of spectator I am.  I like to track the movements of ex-Sharks as well as the arrival of new Sharks and really anyone who has ever caught my attention.  Torrey Mitchell promptly signed with Minnesota, I got giddy over a Flyers signing, and Brad Staubitz went to Anaheim.   Although he has never played for “my” teams, I was happy about Yann Danis being signed by the Oilers.  I like to hear about players finding a place.  

Then came news that the Sharks had signed Adam Burish.  It’s all fun and games until my team actually makes a move, then it becomes frantic serious.  It is very inconvenient that the NHL site makes it so you can’t find a player’s page through “Player Search” unless he is under contract with a team.  You can still find him through a stats search but why they have to break his page between contracts is a mystery.

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  Tags: adam+burish, bracken+kearns, free+agency, matt+irwin

4 or 5 like Braun

Cap Geek released the details of the new contracts for Andrew Desjardins (1 year, $640k) and Justin Braun (3 years with average cap hit of $1.25m).  Information about Tommy Wingels’ contract was released a little earlier, but to make the list complete, he has a 2 year contract with a cap hit of $775k.  Also made official yesterday was Brad Stuart’s contract, 3 years at $3.6m.

So, what next?  The Sharks are still looking for a winger or two, and they are a little cap heavy on defense.  Numbers-wise, there are only 7 NHL defensemen under contract.  If they decide they cannot have so much cap space wrapped up on defense, they will have to move one of the blue liners to get that winger they want.  “That winger…” Gee, where have I heard that before?  Oh well, at least they’re not shopping for defense.

Moving a defenseman out would leave them with Worcester prospects or someone from free agency to fill in the seventh spot.  How confident are they that they could go into next season with only Worcester players to fill in as the seventh defenseman?  Last season the team used all 8 defensemen, even called up a 9th at one point.  So, are the Sharks ready to start with only 6 proven NHL d-men now?

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  Tags: jason+demers, justin+braun, kurt+gogol, matt+irwin, nick+petrecki, sena+acolatse, taylor+doherty, worcester+sharks

What was all that about?

What was that Sharks press conference about yesterday?  I can’t begin to answer that.  I don’t blame them that Dreger blabbed the Stuart news before it started, but they weren’t even prepared to confirm that news.  So why did they meet with the press at all?

As the non-news trickled in, I thought maybe this was the owners’ attempt to quash those rude stories about them not being around or not knowing what was going on and nobody knowing who they were.  That works.

Kevin Compton and Stratton Sclavos explained that they don’t tell Doug Wilson what to do with the team, even if he does run the big ticket items by the owners.  I think that’s nice.  Busy-body owners only muddle things, and what is a General Manager for if you don’t let him manage?  They also mentioned that they are in this to win:

“Mission No. 1 around here is winning the Stanley Cup and that’s what this whole business is about,” Sclavos said. “We’ve been spending to the salary cap every year to put the best team on the ice that we think we can and in aggregate, the performance has been good.  -Working the Corners

Aggregate isn’t a word I use much but I like that idea- don’t go jumping off of bridges over one step back if you’ve made progress over several seasons.  While explaining that they’re not in it for the money, they mentioned that the organization isn’t in debt.  That’s fairly dazzling in this era of debt junkies. 

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  Tags: brad+stuart, daniel+winnik, doug+wilson, douglas+murray, kevin+compton, martin+havlat, nhl+cba, offseason, stratton+sclavos, tj+galiardi, todd+mclellan, trade

On a scale of one to ten, how much does it hurt?

I never understood that question as a diagnostic tool, once you factor in a person’s pain tolerance and varying sensitivities to different kinds of pain.  A person might shrug at a broken bone or abdominal pain, but poke the same person in the eye and they fall down crying like a baby.  Brodie Brazil explained to Sharks fans how they should feel about the Kings winning and the Sharks having lost.  I can only conclude that Brodie is unfamiliar with the basics of psychotherapy.  There’s no “should” to feeling.

I don’t feel differently about the Sharks losing now that the Kings won, even if it does mean San Jose is alone in the Pacific Division without a Cup.  Who knows, the Pacific Division (edit: yes, I actually forgot about the Yotes. Poor Yotes) may go by the way before the Sharks win, will that make it not matter?  Does the way the Kings won make it worse that the Sharks didn’t?  The way they tore through the playoffs, seemingly immune to chance and challenge the whole way?  They played so many one-goal games, if you factor in the EN goals, and yet lost so few.  I would think their achievement would make the whole league shudder—how did they do that?  With really boring awful hockey that is a portent of an imminent lockout?

Saying a little serenity prayer here and ignoring that…

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  Tags: doug+wilson, los+angeles+kings, nhl+cba, salary+cap, trade

Wilson trades for Stuart’s rights: not surprising but kind of odd

News that Doug Wilson had traded a conditional 7th round pick and talking rights with Andrew Murray for talking rights with Brad Stuart was met with general approval by Sharks tweeters. To me it seemed odd. When I say “odd” I don’t mean wrong or crazy, just less straightforward than it appears to be.

Brad Stuart will be a free agent on July 1, unless he signs a contract with the Sharks before that.  If, as was strongly rumored, Stuart had expressed a specific desire to come back to San Jose, why did Wilson have to trade anything at all to talk to him before July 1?  Why did he have to officially talk to him before then?  Because the market would swallow Stuart up with grand offers?  Is he really likely to be overpaid by enough to spend more years away from his family?  It doesn’t sound like he’s interested in exploring that:

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  Tags: brad+stuart, douglas+murray, jason+demers, red+wings, trade

That was not the news I was looking for

While waiting for news from Shark Territory, there has been plenty to think about.  I’ve seen Sharks fans call for a shedding of dead weight from the team, several still hoping to acquire Rick Nash, presumably in exchange for that dead weight.  Some names that come up on the fan “to go” list: Patrick Marleau, Douglas Murray, Ryane Clowe, Antti Niemi.  I hate seeing anyone called dead weight, or specific players being blamed for this atrocious season.  I’m sure I’ve said angry things about players, I wish I wouldn’t.  I wish none of us would.

I’ve tried to come up with something to say about the Sharks’ plans for the offseason.  I tried to speculate about what sort of philosophical change they need: true meritocracy?  Something more Marxist?  From each according to his ability….?  On another tack, I convinced myself that there was some direct correlation between Ryane Clowe’s concussion and the second-half slide the team took.  That required me to speculate about when that concussion occurred, which is, at best, unreliable.  In any case, it was probably just another piece the in the puzzle of what went wrong, even if the (probable) timing looked culpable.  So none of that seems like sharing in greater depth right now.

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  Tags: dominic+moore, fans, throwing+stones, tim+thomas

What it’s like to be the bitch

I don’t like the word bitch.  I don’t mind it as a verb meaning angry complaining, but the noun ain’t what it used to be.  Once it meant a difficult, unyielding, demanding female, not unlike an angry protective mother dog should be.  Some women liked that image, it had some power.  More recently the word has been retasked as shorthand for an angry, impotent person who has no more standing than a toothless dog.  It’s a lot like WhileTheMenWatch, a not so original, spayed version of women talking about things women don’t really want to talk about, like sports.

Back in March, I went to LA to see a Sharks game with two cousins and a woman I hadn’t met.  She was an avid hockey fan, unlike my cousins.  My cousins are men, they like sports, one even likes hockey but doesn’t follow the NHL.  I know they are legit sports fans because I had to sit through football games with them.  But they are not active NHL fans.  Maybe they are at this particular moment but they were not back in March.

Oh, congrats ex-Flyers in LA.  That’s as far as I can go.

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  Tags: cbc, gender+realtions, sports, whilethemenwatch, women

Who’s on third?

As praise for the Kings is heaped onto the web, one of the explanations that keeps being presented is the acquisition of Jeff Carter. I agree, if he and Richards are such great buddies, playing together can’t hurt. Happy players play better.

Oh, they don’t mean that? They mean Carter made the top six so much better?  Oh.  Here I was getting used to the happy notion that teams know they need more than two lines to really do the job.  I guess we’re back to only needing a top six.  Please tell me GMs aren’t really thinking that way anymore.  Please tell me it’s just confused people trying to make sense of the LA Kings suddenly getting their act together.

Sigh.

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  Tags: doug+wilson, jamie+mcginn, kevin+kurz, la+kings, scoring+depth, tommy+wingels

Sharks at Mildred Goss Elementary School

While we wait for those reviews to conclude,  today Joe Thornton visited San Jose’s Mildred Goss Elementary School for a dedication ceremony:

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton recently partnered with the Sharks Foundation and the Good Tidings Foundation to construct a street hockey court at Mildred Goss Elementary School in San Jose. This special dedication ceremony, held in honor of the newly resurfaced street hockey court at Goss, will be followed by an inaugural game.  Thornton will be joined by Sharks broadcasters and other guests to christen the court and battle the students in a game of street hockey.

The ceremony went very smoothly.  After some nice quick speeches, Thornton and Sharkie joined some students for a brief game.  Dan Rusanowsky acted as announcer and occasional coach for the game.  He recommended things like passing the ball.  I think everyone had a good time.  Randy Hahn was there too, as well as Larry Harper, founder of the Good Tidings Foundation.

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  Tags: dan+rusanowsky, joe+thornton, mildred+goss+elementary+school, randy+hahn, sharks+foundation, street+hockey

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About Petshark: Talking Stick

Native of Northern California.  Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.

I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle.  I watch, I react, I write it down.

My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked.  I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind.  When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom.  It hasn't, I don't think it will.  At all.

Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.

I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.

I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at talkingstick@petshark.net

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