| Mitchell out 8 weeks after bad
Fluke injury puts damper on day 2 of
9/21/08 - By Mike Lee
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
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.
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.
|Mitchell lay on the ice for
moments following the injury
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
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
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
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