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

Tuesday, 01.15.2013 / 6:41 PM / 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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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  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
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
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

STATS

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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