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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
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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.”

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.”

The Sharks final roster will be announced on Wednesday.

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.

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




1 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
2 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
3 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
4 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
5 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
6 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
7 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


J. Thornton 82 19 63 25 82
J. Pavelski 82 38 40 25 78
B. Burns 82 27 48 -5 75
P. Marleau 82 25 23 -22 48
T. Hertl 81 21 25 16 46
J. Ward 79 21 22 -15 43
M. Vlasic 67 8 31 15 39
L. Couture 52 15 21 2 36
J. Donskoi 76 11 25 4 36
J. Braun 80 4 19 11 23
M. Jones 37 23 4 .918 2.27
A. Stalock 3 5 2 .884 2.94
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