Sunday, September 23, 2007

2007-08 Preseason Foreplay: San Jose Sharks

It's usually not a good idea to rob anyone while wearing a gigantic shark costume.
(C) San Jose Sharks
Quick hits
  • Fear not loyal fan, JR is back in the NHL and he's better than ever!
  • The Sharks are down with
Odds for the folks at gambler's anonymous

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

(C) San Jose Sharks

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


  1. Roenick seems like a decent guy when you meet him. He's gotten a good welcome here in San Jose and I think he knows what is expected of him. I don't care if he wants to run his mouth off but he needs to play, and play well. The Sharks have never been shy about benching people who aren't doing their job. (Ignoring the semis last year. Those were sad times.)
    My hope is that the Sharks have finally figured out what they need to do to keep their speed and focus up for a whole game. If they have, they'll be a lot better than they were last season.

  2. Yeah, I get the feeling the Sharks wouldnt have signed him if they didn't think he'd behave himself. Even if that's not the case, I'm sure he's on a short leash. I don't doubt that he's a bad guy either, I haven't heard much bad about him from that standpoint at all. He has always been one to voice his opinions and that can be a very polarizing personality.

  3. Oh I know of Link Gaetz ... I know of Link Gaetz, um, well.

    Back in the day, before he'd been banned for life from just about every hockey league on the planet, I used to go watch "The Missing" Link performing his antics in the ECHL.

    A friend of mine, a photographer, covered an ECHL game because he wanted to take pictures of Manon Rheaume, a relatively hot female goalie who was the No. 2 goalie on SOME ECHL team or another, the same team Link was taking a paycheck from at the time.

    So, anyway, as was then the custom in Raleigh, my buddy gets parked in the visitor penalty box to take his pictures.

    So, naturally, he spent nearly the entire game with Link, who was, as my friend described, "crazy." (At more than one point, my friend insists, Gaetz took a swing at someone on the ice while he was SITTING IN THE PENALTY BOX.)

    Other link classics (mostly rumors, I should stress):

    * He once broke into a (I'm guessing former) friend's apartment when he wasn't home, swiped the TV and urinated on the guy's bed.

    * Once reportedly tried to stab a guy with his skate.

    * He once got arrested after raising hell at a Denny's ... the incident culminating with Link going back to the kitchen, donning a chef's hat and flipping burgers until the cops got there.

    * Did I mention he has a crippling alcohol problem?

  4. That picture makes the unis look worse than they are. The new teal is not really different from the old one.

    That said, they've looked good in the 2 pre-season games I've seen. They are playing fast and physical, which will be what gets them past the stupid 2nd round. And it was nice to see Roenick score. On the ice.