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Mitchell out 8 weeks after bad break
Fluke injury puts damper on day 2 of camp
9/21/08 - By Mike Lee

If the Sharks were looking for a little adversity to spice up training camp, they got a huge dose of it on Sunday. 2nd year center Torrey Mitchell sustained a fracture to both the Tibia and Fibula in his left leg after a freak accident during Sunday's inter-squad scrimmage. The bones were not displaced, but were complete fractures, which will require Mitchell to undergo surgery on Sunday night.

The surprise of last year's training camp was attempting to carry the puck in on net from the left wing, when he lost an edge and went crashing into goaltender Tyson Sexsmith. Mitchell's leg struck the left post and just like that, the Sharks need to figure out what to do with the vacancy.

Mitchell lay on the ice for several
moments following the injury
He lay on his back writhing in pain after dislodging the net at Logitech Ice's south rink. Training personnel were immediately summoned to ice, working to diagnose the problem for several minutes before helping the 23-year old centerman to his feet. Mitchell's left skate never touched the ice as he was helped gingerly off the ice.

The injury is expected to sideline Mitchell for 8 weeks, which means the Sharks have some interesting decisions to make between now and their season opener on October 9th.

Captain Patrick Marleau, a natural centerman, spent the first two days of camp on Joe Thornton's right wing, where he played a few games last season. Sharks head coach Todd McLellean has the option of moving Marleau back to center start the season, or lean on Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Jeremy Roenick to carry the load.

Getting Thornton and Pavelski lots of ice time isn't the worst thing in the world, but depending on the seasoned Roenick to carry extra minutes seems counter-intuitive to last year's approach, which called for adequate rest for the 19-year veteran.

This could be Marcel Goc's opportunity to prove he still belongs in San Jose. The German forward played in only 51 games for the Sharks last season, after being squeezed out of the roster with Mitchell's emergence last season and the log jam at the position.

It's unlikely any prospects will make the jump to the NHL as Mitchell did last year, but San Jose will take long looks at former 1st-round draft picks Tom Cavanagh and Logan Couture during camp. Farm hand Steven Zalewski is another alternative.

Team A scored three goals during the scrimmage to out gun Team C 3-1 in the morning scrimmage. Marleau scored the game's first goal 7 minutes in. Center Cory Larose would also score on a deflection for Team A.

Thornton would slip a shot past goaltender Kyle Jones in the post scrimmage shootout. Jones would deny Marleau on his chance. Devin Setoguchi tried to pump a slap shot from 30 feet past Evgeni Nabokov on his try, which failed right in front of the contingent of coaches and scouts who sat perched high up in the corner of the rink.

The weekend practice drew several hundred spectators, who packed the south rink bleachers. Those late to arrive were forced to watch from behind glass on both ends of the ice. Only a few remained to catch conditioning drills, which were run in the north rink following the scrimmage. McLellan had his players running a series of drills which reinforced his call for more shots from his defenseman and traffic in front of the goaltender by his forwards. The practice concluded with a series of wind sprints, that had several players huffing & puffing by the end of the session.


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