Captain Announcement Coming Soon

With 2 Days Until Final Cuts, McLellan Says "We're Close"

Tuesday, 09.29.2009 / 3:42 PM PT / News
By San Jose Sharks Staff
X
Share with your Friends


Captain Announcement Coming Soon
In the NHL, change is the norm. And Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson was very direct in his post playoff talks that the Sharks would do what was necessary heading into 2009-10.

With the season opening in two days, one glance at the roster shows that Wilson stuck with his plan. Nine players who dressed in the playoffs are no longer with the organization. Whether it was from trades, free agency or retirement, there is no doubt things have been shaken up.

Departed players include Jeremy Roenick, Milan Michalek, Claude Lemieux, Mike Grier, Brad Lukowich, Christian Ehrhoff, Travis Moen, Jonathan Cheechoo and Marcel Goc.

Changes took place all over the roster. The Sharks had trouble scoring in the postseason, so Wilson brought in one of the most prolific scorers in the league: Dany Heatley. With Heatley, there will be one new face on what many expect to be the top six of forwards Joe Thornton, Devin Setoguchi, Patrick Marleau, Ryane Clowe and Joe Pavelski.

“There’s been quite a bit of turnover from last year’s personnel,” said Marleau. “It’s a good feeling. We have good character guys and that helps the team. Going from last year to this year, we have a lot to prove.”

“It’s definitely different,” said Jody Shelley. “The pulse of the team is still the same with the guys that know what we went through last year. It’s exciting and I think the new guys realize the urgency here.”

On the third and fourth line, San Jose was looking to add some edge to their game. Since last spring, they’ve strengthened their tenacity up the middle. With Manny Malhotra and Scott Nichol centering the third and fourth lines, Sharks fans can expect to see a ramped up intensity level from the checking groups. It’s quite possible the third and fourth lines will have four, and even five, players who didn’t skate in the postseason last year.

“I think we will be hard to play against,” said Thornton. “We have more grit on the third and fourth line. We’ll be more tenacious.

“The retooling of the third and fourth lines gives us a little different character and a little more tenacity,” added Thornton. “Maybe we’re a little bigger and a little more rugged.”

On defense, one-third of the group will be skating in their first Sharks game on opening night. Whether it’s Kent Huskins and Joe Callahan or Derek Joslin and Jason Demers, the blueline will have a different make up.

“It seems different,” said Marc-Edouard Vlasic. “We have a lot of new and young guys. There will be three new guys on D (counting the seventh defenseman on the roster). We’ll be a young, fresh team.”

“Young players have good days and rough days,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan, noting he wasn’t too worried about any difficult learning curves. “Rob Blake had those days too when he was a rookie. They need some time.”

In goal Evgeni Nabokov will handle the bulk of the load again, but Thomas Greiss will be the option on other nights.

With all these alterations, San Jose’s team could be its best ever. But the team still needs to meld together.

“Time will tell,” said Dan Boyle. “The core of the team is still here. We’re a better team than last year and have new blood.”

“It’s a good feeling. It’s too early to tell right now,” said Thornton about when everything would come together.

San Jose will use their remaining two practices before opening night to fine tune some areas.

“We’re going to take a few days and learn the system a bit more,” said Marleau. “Then we’re going to jump right into it.”

CAPTAIN
Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan noted at practice that a captain and two alternate captains will be named prior to opening night and they will wear the letters for the season.

“We’re close,” said McLellan. We’ll pick three from the group.”

FINALS CUTS
The Sharks final roster will be announced on Wednesday.

OPENING GAME
San Jose will play Colorado in their season opener and it will be an emotional evening as the Avalanche will be honoring their long time captain Joe Sakic.

NEXT GAME
San Jose will visit Colorado on Thursday night and the game will be available on Versus at 6:30 PM (Pacific).

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 37 33 12 70
L. Couture 82 27 40 -6 67
J. Thornton 78 16 49 -4 65
B. Burns 82 17 43 -9 60
P. Marleau 82 19 38 -17 57
T. Wingels 75 15 21 -7 36
T. Hertl 82 13 18 -5 31
M. Nieto 72 10 17 -12 27
M. Karlsson 53 13 11 -3 24
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 31 23 7 .914 2.59
A. Stalock 8 9 2 .902 2.62
Image Map