Friday's Baker's Dozen - 6/15/2012
Time for my weekly Baker's Dozen.
- Brad Stuart is a tough, hard-nosed defenseman that has won a Stanley Cup. The Sharks have exclusive rights to negotiate with him until July 1 and he would be a great addition to the team if he is signed. I think Doug Wilson’s take on Stuart sums up why it’s a good move: “Brad is a player we are very familiar with – a physical, team-first defenseman who is tough to play against, which is exactly the kind of mentality we want our team to possess.”
- Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche might have said it best on his Twitter account after the Kings won the Cup: @Matt9Duchene “29 very jealous teams right now. Hoping one day it will be our turn. Congrats to the LA Kings on their 1st ever Stanley Cup."
- The three big story lines for the summer considering player movement are Rick Nash, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Lots of teams would be interested in those players but the question is where will they end up?
- Jason York played 757 games in the NHL for Detroit, Anaheim, Ottawa, Nashville and Boston but never won the Cup. His tweet this week speaks for a lot of players who played the game: “Continued my tradition of watching cup finals hand shake & seeing the cup lifted by winning team followed by #SevereCupEnvy”.
- The 2011-12 hockey season is officially over … enjoy the highs, learn from the lows and don’t dwell on either. There is a lot of great talent in the Sharks organization and this summer should be interesting to see what changes are made for the Sharks and all the teams in the NHL.
- So what is a GM to do when a team is built a certain way and then the rules and/or game changes in the next few years that actually hurts your team’s chances? The 2011-12 playoffs will be as remembered for skilled teams getting knocked out early by teams who played a grind it out defensive style. So if you’re a GM, do you tinker your style or wait to see what new rules could be in place?
I am thinking if you want to make one change that will impact the game in a positive way more than any other, make the nets bigger or make the goalie equipment significantly smaller. Either way, the NHL needs to get the defensive players to expand in the defensive zone because there is so much congestion and traffic in front of the net and in the slot area – which is where most goals are scored. Players need to be able to score from further out without relying on screens, tips or rebounds. If that happens the defense expands, opening up the slot area, which leads to more high quality scoring chances.
- BakesTakes13 enjoys a top 10 moments in the 2011-12 season for our beloved San Jose Sharks. #BleedTeal
- One of the highlights of the year was Joe Thornton playing in his 1,000th game in the NHL. The players got him a gift that was literally out of this world, a woolly mammoth tusk. This past week news came out that the woolly mammoth was wiped out by multiple killers about 10,000 years ago.
- A friend said to me right before the playoffs that he thought this was the year a lower seed was going to win the Stanley Cup. Boy was he was right, too right actually. It was supposed to be the 7th seed from the West.
- Two of the best players I have played with or against were Sergei Makarov and Igor Larionov. Igor, as most know, has been inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame. Last week was a sad day in hockey, particularly in Russia, when the great Vladimir Krutov passed away. Krutov of course was the K, in the famous KLM line. I remember watching Krutov play and it was sheer magic watching the KLM line when they were in their prime.
- Back-to-back Conn Smythe trophies have gone to US born goaltenders. This gets me thinking the US will have in influx of great goalies in about 20 years with the amount of young players who want to play that position.
- Doc Emrick, right after Martin Brodeur and Jonathon Quick shook hands and respectfully congratulated each other, said, “I love hockey, for reasons like that.”
The perfect comment from an incredible broadcaster at exactly the right time! Hockey is full of passion and can bring the best and worst out of people. But once everything is said and done, there is nothing like professional athletes, who just battled for two grueling weeks, to shake hands after a series is over. It’s one of the great traditions in all of sports.
- My partner, the great Dan Rusanowsky, who I like to refer as Ruzzie, was at Game 6 in Los Angeles and actually made his way down to the ice during the post-game celebrations. I was texting him at the time and asked if he was near the Cup. He was about 30-40 feet away in the picture he sent and he said “That’s as close as I wanted to get to it on the ice until we win it.”
He then went on to say “it was something to see (the atmosphere and crowd) but our building will be much louder when we win.”
I’m with ya Ruzzie! This is a great organization led by some wonderful, good people and I hope I’m calling the game with you when you get to make the historic call, “The San Jose Sharks are the Stanley Cup Champions.” I can’t imagine how loud HP will be the day it happens!