San Jose Links Up With Stockton

ECHL Affiliate to be located much closer --- just 80 miles away

Monday, 08.02.2010 / 7:19 PM / News
By San Jose Sharks Staff
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San Jose Links Up With Stockton
The San Jose Sharks announced today that they reached an affiliation agreement for the 2010-11 season with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL.

The announcement was made during a press conference this morning by San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager, Doug Wilson, and Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Wayne Thomas.

“We’re really excited to join into a partnership with the Stockton Thunder as their ECHL affiliate,” Wilson said. “The Thunder in particular have really fought for a great tradition of success on and off the ice. And for us, it makes perfect sense for our franchise, I think we’re located right around 80 miles apart, so we’re entering a beneficial hockey partnership.”

The location and success of the Stockton franchise was one of the most important factors in the Sharks decision.

“We looked for a place where hockey is important in the community,” said Thomas. “And the response from the fans from Stockton have given to the Thunder over the past five years are making a lot of people in minor league hockey envious.”

The location also provides the Sharks with the ability to watch and monitor the development of their players more closely.

“We believe very strongly in drafting and developing players,” Wilson said. “Sometimes it takes a little longer period of time…We’ve always told our own players in our organization that if you work hard and pay your dues, we’ll give you your first opportunity. So we’re never reluctant to give our own players a call-up and get them here.”

“So the geographic situation [with Stockton] certainly allows us to do that on a more regular basis but it also gives us the ability to have our staff get in and work with the players and support [Thunder Head Coach] Matt Thomas.”

The positive responses from former Thunder players about the organization also played a large role in deciding to partner with the organization.

“We know kids that have played [in Stockton] and have gone through our organization and had great things to say about how they’re treated not only by the team, but also in the community,” Thomas said.

The Sharks will be joining the Edmonton Oilers as the Thunder’s second NHL affiliate. Individuals involved with the organizations hope this unity will help create a competitive atmosphere that enhances the players’ development.

“We want to create a culture that gives the players the feeling that they can win and develop at the same time, and more importantly, get the opportunity to move up in their career,” said Thunder Head Coach, Matt Thomas. “Aligning yourself with two great organizations that have a history of development…I think what you’re going to see is a much more motivated group.”
Wilson echoed the benefit of friendly competition when asked about a possible exhibition game between the Sharks and Oilers players on the Thunder.

“We like the idea of a rivalry, which is healthy,” Wilson said. “I would have no problem with that type of concept.”

Sharks radio-broadcaster, Dan Rusanowsky, also believes the friendly rivalry will benefit all three organizations involved.

“The best rivalry, which certainly happens on the ice, is accentuated by the work the Sharks and Oilers do together now to try to develop players,” Rusanowsky said.

The Sharks are happy that the deal, which took over a year to finalize, is now official, but they are even more excited about the future benefits of the partnership.

“This is a relationship that is going to work and will be first class,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of synergy and relationships that makes this just a great fit…It’ll be exciting for where we go from here.”



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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
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7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
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9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

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2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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