Camp Notes: Day
Burns breaks the ice
Day 4 of the Sharks Training Camp concluded on
Wednesday, as the Sharks prepare for the season opener on Sunday. That opener
was pushed up by an hour by the league, which means that Bay Area viewers need
to be parked in front of their televisions by 3pm PST on Sunday if they want to
catch the start of the Sharks - Flames game.
As for the television
schedule, all 48 regular season games will be televised in HD this season. The
first 47 games will be covered by some derivative of CSN (California, Bay Area,
Plus, etc.), and the regular season finale will be carried by NBC on its
national broadcast. That last game will be in Los Angeles as both the Sharks
and Kings close out the regular season.
One key player that you won't
see in the lineup on Sunday, is defenseman Brent Burns, who continues to nurse
the effects of his off season hernia surgery. CSN Bay Area columnist Kevin Kurz
reported that Burns would be unavailable for the game.
Burns, his off-season recovery has apparently included instructions from his
doctor to stay as far away from a barber shop as possible. Burns official team
mug shot was released on Wednesday, and from the looks of things, the
disheveled defenseman won't be appearing on the cover of People Magazine
Mountain man meets Chewbacca would be a good description
for Burns look. All I can say is, that guy has one cool wife. Mine threatens to
leave me if I go two days without shaving.
Not much to report on the
camp front. There are 28 guys skating around a sheet of ice for a couple of
hours each day. Hopefully they're spending more time than usual, focusing on
the penalty kill. That was the main reason the team brought in Larry Robinson.
When asked if he thought the penalty kill would be better while on a
radio interview with 95.7 The Game on Tuesday night, Sharks defenseman
Marc-Edouard Vlassic responded with undoubtedly the best quote we're heard all
"It couldn't get an worse."
Call it like you see if
Marc-Edouard. Call it like you see it.
GM Doug Wilson did make a minor
move on Wednesday by shipping farm hand Brandon Mashinter to the New York
Rangers for forward Tommy Grant and a conditional 7th round draft pick in 2014.
Mashinter was given a shot at proving himself at the NHL level during the
2010-11 season. He appeared in 13 games for San Jose without recording a single
Grant spent the last two season playing on the left wing for
the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. He scored 11 goals in 72 games for
Connecticut last season, and has 9 through 34 games so far this year. He was
immediately assigned to Worcester.
Finally, I wanted to say a few
things about former Sharks owner George Gund III. King George, as he was
affectionately referred to by the Bottom Feeder staff in the early days, passed
away on Monday after a long bout with cancer. For all the Sharks pitfalls in
the first few years in the league, it was still Gund who had the foresight to
understand that hockey could thrive as a professional franchise in the Bay
There are plenty of affluent cities in North America that could
support a professional sports franchise, but Gund knew the Bay Area, and
understood that the South Bay was more than equipped to take on an NHL
You have to admit that surrendering his rights in what
was then the Minnesota North Stars to take on a new franchise was a pretty
gutsy move. The NHL hadn't expanded in almost 20 years, and there were no
He could have easily placed his team in Oakland,
but he understood the economy that Silicon Valley spawned, and the hunger for
pro sports by the those long neglected in San Jose. The Giants used San Jose as
a pawn in the 80's to try and work a new stadium deal out of San Francisco, but
Gund recognized that there was a fan base just waiting to be tapped.
It takes a lot of money to build a tea from the ground up, and being handcuffed
by that financial burden made it tough for Gund to build a consistent winner.
Gund also understood when it was time to get out, but he sold the team to an
ownership group that was committed to building a winning team.
unfortunate that Gund never lived to see a Stanley Cup hoisted in San Jose. I
trust that the Sharks would have extended an invitation to him, to help
celebrate a championship, had they won one during his lifetime.
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