| Training Camp
Sharks look to gel quickly
It started four months late, but training camp
finally kicked off in San Jose on Sunday. 28 players amassed at the San Jose
Sharks training facility on 10th street before a packed house, ready to make up
for all that lost time. Blink and you'll miss this year's abridged camp,
intended to give teams an opportunity to get before the regular season starts
Most teams open the regular season on Saturday, but the
Sharks were able to milk an additional day out of the league, launching their
quest for a playoff spot on Sunday in Calgary, where they get to square off
against the Flames. San Jose will then travel to Edmonton to play the upstart
Oilers, before coming home to re-open HP Pavilion during a six-game home stand.
A familiar lot took to the ice on Sunday, focusing on basics and a new
penalty kill that will be implemented in an attempt to turn around the league's
second worst PK. In addition to the Marleau's and Thornton's, Sharks fans were
introduced to a couple of new additions and an old familiar face.
Unlike seasons past, San Jose didn't make any major roster changes, even though
they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. San Jose will make a
go at it with most of the players that earned the 7th seed in the Western
Conference last year.
Former Sharks first round draft pick Brad Stuart
makes his return to the Bay Area after a seven year detour through Boston,
Calgary, Los Angeles and Detroit. The defenseman signed a three-year deal last
summer, returning to his off-season home, and starting his second stint with
the Sharks. Stuart starts his 13th season as an NHL defenseman.
Burish donned a Sharks practice jersey for the first time, eager to skate with
his new teammates. The right wing spent the last two seasons playing for the
Dallas Stars, playing on a checking line. Burish isn't going to make a run at
the NHL goal-scoring title, but rather bring s the edginess that San Jose
He touched a nerve with reporters on Sunday, telling
SJSharks.com that he intends to play a "mean" brand of hockey. When was the
last time you heard any Shark use the word "mean" to describe their game?
If you plan to attend camp, there are two novelties worth checking out
this week. The first being James Sheppard, the long lost forward that San Jose
acquired a year ago from Minnesota for a 3rd round draft pick next summer.
Sheppard was the 9th overall pick for the Wild in 2006, and was a lock to turn
the NHL on its head with his scoring acumen.
Sheppard blew up his knee in 2010 in an ATV accident,
and spent the next 18 months nursing himself back into playing shape. In 34
games this season for the Worcester Sharks, Sheppard has scored 8 goals and 15
assists. San Jose is hoping Sheppard turns into that bona fide blue chip player
that can help generate some scoring.
They had hoped to see him last
season, but the knee didn't cooperate. He played 4 games in Worcester before
aggravating something. San Jose chose to protect their investment in the
centerman and shut him down for the season.
The other player worth
checking out is defenseman Matt Tennyson, a free agent that San Jose inked last
March. What makes Tennyson a novelty is that he was born in Pleasanton in 1990.
He was only a year old when the Sharks joined the league, and would be the
first Bay Area native to play for San Jose.
It's unlikely that
Tennyson will crack the Sharks roster, but he could make the trek between San
Jose and Worcester throughout the season should the big club need a defenseman
in a pinch.
The Sharks will have some of the training camp sessions
open to the public, including Monday's noon practice at Sharks Ice.
|What did you think of
this article? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums