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San Jose Sharks Family Mourns the Passing of Original Team Owner George Gund III

Tuesday, 01.15.2013 / 3:41 PM PT / News
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San Jose Sharks Family Mourns the Passing of Original Team Owner George Gund III

SAN JOSE, California - It is with great sadness that Sharks Sports & Entertainment confirms that George Gund III, the original and long-time owner of the San Jose Sharks, passed away this morning at the age of 75 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Gund passed away peacefully with his wife, Iara, son George IV, brother Gordon and his wife, Lulie, at his side.

"George Gund III will always have a special place in the hearts of Sharks fans for his role in bringing the team to San Jose," said the ownership group of Sharks Sports & Entertainment. "His love for the Sharks and the game of hockey cannot be captured in words. George was a trailblazer and he knew that NHL hockey could not only survive, but thrive in the Bay Area. The Sharks organization will always serve as a proud reminder of George's passion. He will be greatly missed and our condolences are with his family."

In his memory during the 2012-13 season, the Sharks will wear a helmet decal and, later, a jersey patch bearing his initials: GG III.

In 1990, Gund, a long-time Bay Area resident, along with his brother Gordon, relinquished their ownership stake in the National Hockey League's Minnesota North Stars in exchange for the rights to an expansion NHL franchise in the Bay Area.

In Sept. of that year, the Gunds announced that the team would be named the "Sharks" and that their permanent home would be in San Jose. And on Oct. 4, 1991, the team played their first National Hockey League game.

George Gund could be considered the biggest fan the Sharks franchise ever knew. He was a regular at home and road games, following the team intently, regardless of his location on the globe. He was a life-long fan of the game, and could be found skating on the ice at HP Pavilion hours before games well into his 60's. Everywhere he went, he could always be found wearing his Sharks lapel pin on his jacket.

In 1996, Gund was named as the recipient of the Lester Patrick Award, presented for "outstanding service to hockey in the United States."

Gund sold the Sharks franchise to Sharks Sports & Entertainment in 2002 but continued to attend Sharks games whenever he could.

In 2008, he was inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.

A lifelong philanthropist, Gund continued the George Gund Foundation, created by his father in 1952, with the sole purpose of contributing to human well-being and the progress of society. In 2004, George and Iara created the Iara Lee and George Gund III Foundation. The couple also shared a passion for film and art.

Along with the North Stars, Gund previously held ownership roles within the NHL's California Golden Seals and Cleveland Barons, and the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

Service arrangements have not yet been announced.

"It's a sad day for hockey and for San Jose," said Sharks Executive Vice President & General Manager Doug Wilson. "George was a wonderful person and a great ambassador for the game of hockey, which he truly loved. Everyone who had the privilege of playing or working for him has a heavy heart today. None of us would be here without him."

"George was a true renaissance man," said Sharks former President & Chief Executive Officer Greg Jamison. "He was a world-renowned global traveler and he loved to watch hockey being played at all levels across the world. I have an immense amount of respect for what he accomplished and what the Sharks meant to him. Along with my wife, Vicki, our thoughts and prayers go out to George's family."

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 76 47 21 8 218 183 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
5 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 75 36 31 10 67
J. Thornton 71 14 48 -4 62
L. Couture 75 24 37 -4 61
B. Burns 75 16 39 -5 55
P. Marleau 75 17 35 -17 52
T. Wingels 68 15 20 -5 35
T. Hertl 75 12 17 -2 29
M. Nieto 65 8 16 -11 24
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
M. Karlsson 46 13 9 -2 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 7 7 1 .902 2.60
A. Niemi 29 22 7 .914 2.62
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