| Old Shark could spell
Don't rule out Nolan back in
1/31/06 - By Steve
Prior to last season's exciting run to the Western Conference Final
round and the emergence of Patrick Marleau as the San Jose Sharks Captain and
team leader the Sharks were identified as Owen Nolan's team. Nolan was and is
still the most memorable player and team captain the Sharks have had. Marleau
will, no doubt, continue to strive towards reaching his peak as both a player
and leader until he becomes the overall leader in every possible offensive
category in Sharks history. But at this time Nolan holds the label as best
Captain and overall everything in the Sharks record book.
Love him or hate him the Sharks were identified by Nolan throughout his tenure
in teal. At his best he provided goals, grit, toughness and a hard-nosed figure
on the power play. These are aspects that all 30 NHL teams need to win games.
The Sharks are in short and inconsistent supply on all of them.
Nolan hasn't stepped on NHL ice since March of 2004. At that time he suffered a
bone bruise which led to cartilage deterioration. Nolan was, at that time and
still is the property of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
A stalemate of sorts has developed between Canada's most beloved franchise and
the Irish born Right Wing. At the heart of the matter is the injury itself.
Toronto GM John Ferguson questions whether Nolan's injury happened before or
after the lockout. At stake are millions of dollars.
By all published reports the negotiating between Nolan and the Leafs should be
resolved within a week or so. At this point it appears that Nolan will be
available to whoever can reach a mutual agreement with him for his on ice
services. The Sharks are a logical choice.
Nolan lives year round in the South Bay and is married to a local lady. His
best years were spent with the Sharks and the Sharks have a need for many of
the skills that Nolan has exhibited at a very high level in the past.
Yes, Nolan is older and coming off a severe injury so there is some risk
involved with bringing him on board. But the risk is minimal in that acquiring
him will not cost the Sharks a roster player or prospect. The signing of Nolan
will be added to the team's payroll which season ticket holders have already
assisted in paying regardless of Nolan's presence on the roster.
Since Nolan's trade to Ontario there has been parlance that he was a 'cancer'
in the locker room. There is talk that he 'wasn't a good leader of men' etc,
etc, etc. Blah, blah, blah. The only thing I remember is that the team had an
identity. The team won games and the team had grit. Revisionists will of course
want to dispute this, but just look to the rafters and you will see a Pacific
Division banner that says otherwise.
I'm not sure whether Nolan will sign with the Sharks or not. No one really
knows but Nolan or his agent or Sharks GM Doug Wilson. But one can hope that it
can come true. In a real world it is likely that he is no longer as fast (yet
he never was a Pavel Bure) nor probably in game shape yet he will always have
grit and toughness and a desire to win.
Nolan will add excitement to the game and will provide the Sharks with a
veteran leader who has represented the Sharks in an All-Star caliber in the
I am no believer that he is a locker room distraction nor do I believe that he
would try to usurp the roles of Marleau or Joe Thornton. To win is the goal and
Nolan's acquisition would do nothing to diminish what is currently a 12th place
spot in the Western Conference playoff standings.
Contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org
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