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New Season Musings
Some thoughts on the just-opened 2016-17 season
10/16/16 - By Paul Krill -

Obviously, this Sharks team has a tough act to follow, with last year's team coming just two wins from the Stanley Cup. So far, the team looks up to the task, with solid defensive play and goaltending. Some more goals would be nice, though. Here's just a few thoughts on what we've seen so far, from the fan-at-the-game perspective:

Maybe the Sharks are over-doing it a bit with this digitization plan and move against all things paper. Digital tickets, OK, I guess that is alright, since we're all online these days. But no more pocket schedules? Come on. The Sharks can print these up for people who like to carry one around in their wallets and collect them. Disappointing, to say the least.

I was fully expecting to get two season ticketholder pins recognizing the team's status as defending Western Conference champions. (We get different-themed pins every year.) Nope. Just one that says "Sharks 365" on it, the new name for the season ticketholder program. Again, disappointing.

The $5 in free food per ticket on season tickets is nice. It almost buys one ice cream sandwich but does pay for a full bag of candy or popcorn. I guess this giveaway is perhaps one reason why the Sharks had to cut back on paper and printing.

It's good to see that the Sharks have gotten rid of that embarrassing "Regular Season Champions" banner, a title they once gave themselves a few years back. (After the President's Trophy season of 2008-09, I think.) It was always akin to Andy Kaufmann's own "Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion" title, which he made up for himself as a joke. (For you younger people who have no idea who he was, search on Andy Kauffman in Youtube, since he did pass away in 1984.)

What's up with Mirco Mueller and Nicolay Goldobin, Sharks' first round draft picks from 2013 and 2014, respectively? Why haven't they made the big club for good yet? It won't be much longer before we have to start wondering if these guys are ever going to be full-time Sharks.

Based on one recent report, it looks like my doubts about the Barracuda's ability to succeed at the Box Office in San Jose were well-founded. I even went to a game myself - a playoff game where free tickets were given out - and the place still was barren, with many concessions stands closed. I don't think San Jose is a strong enough hockey market to support both major and minor league clubs in the same building. Perhaps it might be prudent to move the Barracuda to the new arena in Sacramento, where there would be no local NHL competition and it would still be easy to move players back and forth between the NHL and AHL clubs?

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