San Jose: Training ground of
Lots of Cup winners have the Sharks on
One peculiarity that dumbfounds me, and probably
you, too, is how the Sharks have never won much in the post-season but so many
Sharks alumni have after leaving the team.
It's as if the Sharks are
like Moses in Biblical times - leading to the Promised Land but not allowed to
enter themselves. There's an impressive list of folks I'm talking about:
* Coach Darryl Sutter - Never got past the second round of the
playoffs with the Sharks, but led Calgary to the Stanley Cup Final (beating the
Sharks on the way) in 2004 and won the Stanley Cup with Los Angeles in 2012. He
may accomplish this feat again in a few weeks.
* General Manager Dean
Lombardi - Once again, he never got out of the second round with the Sharks but
had his day with the Cup two years ago after he arrived in Los Angeles.
* Former player Jeff Friesen- If any player was the quintessential
Shark in the 1990s, it was Jeff Friesen. As a matter of fact, I'm a bit
offended that Logan Couture is now allowed to wear Friesen's number 39. Friesen
spent some impressive years with the Sharks and was a fan favorite. But his
Stanley Cup ring, earned in 2003, says "New Jersey Devils" on it.
Player Brad Stuart - Once again a Shark this past season, he was the third
selection in the 1998 draft and spent several years in San Jose before being
sent to Boston in the Joe Thornton trade in 2005. He won a Cup with Detroit in
On the other side of the coin, there's Owen Nolan, whose Cup
efforts were stopped when he came to San Jose. Traded by Colorado early in the
1995-96 season, he would have won a championship that season had he not been
sent away. Meanwhile, Chris Terreri won a Cup in 1995 in New Jersey, spent some
time with the Sharks briefly in 1996-97 and then won another Cup with the
Devils in 2000.
Of course, it's easy to forget the Sharks are not the
only team stymied for decades in their efforts to win a championship. Saint
Louis fans have been waiting far, far longer (since 1967), as have fans in
Vancouver and Buffalo (both began play in 1970) and Washington (1974).
Not everybody gets to be Philadelphia (Cup wins in their seventh and eighth
seasons, none since) or Tampa Bay (a Cup win in their 12th season). The Kings,
who began play in 1967, did not win until two years ago.
Yes, this is
all off-season trivia. But this off-season is going to be a particularly long
one for the Sharks and their fans.
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