(C) San Jose Sharks
- Fear not loyal fan, JR is back in the NHL and he's better than ever!
- The Sharks are down with the kids and their hippin and the hoppin and the bippin and the boppin.
- San Jose has finished either first or second in the Pacific Division in five of the past six seasons, and have made the playoffs in seven of the last eight seasons.
- Last season the team had 51 wins and 107 points, both of which are new franchise records. The team also set the record for fewest penalty minutes in a single season, with 939.
- Entering last season the Sharks were, on average, the youngest team in the NHL.
- Logan Couture and Nick Petrecki have the coolest names of any first round draft picks this season. Logan Couture... shouldn't he be starting in an action movie?
- Captain Patrick Marleau is the franchise's all-time leading scorer.
- Player you never knew existed: Link Gaetz holds the Sharks record for most PIM in a single season.
18 to 1: Jeremy Roenick breaks San Jose's single season scoring record. Off the ice.
Over/under on how many arrests mascot SJ Sharkie will have this season: 6
Things that make your eyes bleed
Obligatory serious analysis
Last season, the Sharks set franchise highs in points and wins on their way to a fifth place finish in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, they knocked out the high-flying Nashville Predators before losing to the Red Wings in six games during the second round. One of the biggest stories of the year was the emergence of many young players in San Jose. In his second full season in San Jose, Milan Michalek nearly doubled his point total from the previous season, scoring 66 points in 78 games. That mark put him in 4th place in team scoring. Right behind him were rookies Matt Carle (42 points) and Ryan Clowe (34 points). This year, there is no doubt the Sharks will be looking to those and other young players to step up and help put this team over the top.
On the transaction front, the Sharks made a few moves that should be interesting stories to watch this season. Of course, Mark Bell has been in the news, but that shouldn't affect this organization. Bell was traded to Toronto along with Vesa Toskala earlier this summer, and was later arrested for a drunk driving hit and run incident. Later, he was suspended by the league for 15 games. The Sharks received draft picks back from Toronto for these two, but we'll have to watch Evgeni Nabokov now that he has once again been handed the reigns to the Sharks' net on a full time basis.
More interesting, perhaps, will be the effect of Jeremy Roenick on the team. The enigmatic veteran forward was thought to have retired, but instead has come back to play one more year with the Sharks. His behavior in Phoenix last season was an issue, and Roenick has a habit of making any situation interesting, so this should be a fun storyline to watch.
Other transactions include the addition of defender Alexei Semenov and the losses of Scott Hannan and trade deadline acquisition Bill Guerin. Hannan is a solid defender, but the Sharks have some young kids that can hopefully fill his shoes. Either way, these transactions will be less than important/interesting.
What to look for this season; is Roenick really going to keep his mouth shut and be a team player? and will the young players have as much or more of an impact than they did last season?
Prediction: The Sharks should be up to their old tricks again this season. I figure we'll find them right up there with the Ducks and Stars for the division title yet again. They're going to have a heck of a shot to win the Pacific, with Anaheim's short, tumultuous off-season and Dallas' lack of serious improvement. The Sharks didn't improve a heck of a lot either, which is why I think this will be a serious fight to the finish. I think the Sharks edge out the division title and the second spot in the West.
The best looking ice girls in San Jose
No ice girls in San Jose as far as I know, so it's time for our Celebrity-NHL city connection of the day: Grey's Anatomy's Kate Walsh is from San Jose.
Previous Editions of Preseason Foreplay
- Atlanta Thrashers - August 15th
- Boston Bruins - August 27th
- Buffalo Sabres - September 21st
- Calgary Flames - September 2nd
- Chicago Blackhawks - August 24th
- Colorado Avalanche - September 13th
- Columbus Blue Jackets - August 22nd
- Dallas Stars - August 13th
- Edmonton Oilers - September 1st
- Florida Panthers - August 26th
- Los Angeles Kings - September 8th
- Minnesota Wild - September 1st
- Montreal Canadiens - August 29th
- New Jersey Devils - August 19th
- New York Islanders - September 20th
- New York Rangers - September 16th
- Ottawa Senators - September 18th
- Philadelphia Flyers - September 6th
- Pittsburgh Penguins - September 6th
- Phoenix Coyotes - August 14th
- St. Louis Blues - September 9th
- Tampa Bay Lightning - August 18th
- Toronto Maple Leafs - September 11th
- Washington Capitals - September 12th