KYLE MCLAREN VS AARON VOROS LAST SEASON AGAINST MINNESOTA
- One of the big stories out of training camp was news that the Sharks held veteran defenseman Kyle McLaren out of practice and scrimmages as an organizational decision
. With 7 NHL defenseman under contract (not including Alexei Semenov), the Sharks remain $225,000 over the salary cap according to NHLscap.com
General manager Doug Wilson told the Mercury News that it was simply a numbers game after offseason acquisitions of defenseman Dan Boyle, Brad Lukowich and Rob Blake. The 5-year mainstay on the Sharks blueline added a physical element the Sharks needed, but groin and knee problems cut short McLaren's season last year. McLaren was reportedly 100% healthy heading into training camp.
- The Sharks offered an update
on the condition of checking center Torrey Mitchell who suffered two broken bones in his leg during an injury in training camp. The injury occured after a collision in front of the net which sent him into the post. A fan attending training camp posted a video of the incident on youtube here
In addition to finding a short term replacement on the checking line, the Sharks will have to look for other players to provide the energy and the spark that Mitchell brought to the ice at the start of last season. During a rough October where the Sharks stumbled out of the gate to a 5-5-0-1 record, the rookie center was notable for his speed and tenacious defense. The pressure on the Sharks and the new coaching staff will be intense early if there are any setbacks.
- Just over the Thrashers Blueland newswire
, the Atlanta Thrashers acquired defenseman Mathieu Schneider from the Anaheim Ducks for Ken Klee, Brad Larsen and Chad Painchaud. The 39-year-old Schneider joins a revamped blueline with standout Toby Enstrom and recently acquired Ron Hainsey. One NHL insider recently commented that after Schneider was traded, competition for other available defenseman
may heat up in short order.
- The Sharks announced Wednesday that defenseman Douglas Murray was signed to a 4-year contract extension. Reports put the deal at 4 years for $10 million. Sharks GM Doug Wilson has locked up the core of the defense for the next several years
, Dan Boyle (signed through 2013-14), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (2012-13), Douglas Murray (2012-13), and Christian Ehrhoff (2010-11).
Douglas Murray and Christian Ehrhoff were two of the most improved defenseman on the San Jose Sharks last year. After a spectacular start to the season, Murray finished strong with as much of a shutdown performance as possible against Jarome Iginla in the first round of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Murray simplified his game, played solid positionally and made high percentage plays with the puck.
In the pre-season opener against Anaheim, David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News coined the Douglas Murray hat trick
; signing a contract extension, scoring a goal, and winning a fight on the same day. The Sharks and goaltender Thomas Greiss were blitzed by the Anaheim Ducks, allowing 4 third period goals en route to a 6-4 loss
. OC Register beat writer Dan Wood noted
that it was unusual for J.S. Giguere to play a full game this early in the preseason, but that Ducks coach Randy Carlyle applied a little misdirection on who would start the first game in training camp.
- AskMen.com and The Hockey News predict the Detroit Red Wings will defend their Stanley Cup Championship
in 2008-09. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit's up-tempo puck possession offense, and free agent acquisition of Marian Hossa put the Wings over the top according to the article. Montreal is predicted to win the Eastern Conference, followed by Pittsburgh, Washington, and Philadelphia. San Jose, Minnesota and Dallas round out the top 4 teams from the Western Conference.
- A press release details Yahoo and the NHL's partnership on a co-branded Fantasy Hockey game:
Yahoo! Sports and the NHL to Launch Co-Branded Fantasy Hockey Game
First Co-Branded Fantasy Game Launched by a Sports League and Major Fantasy Provider -- First Fantasy Game to Integrate Player Highlights
Yahoo! and the National Hockey League announced today that Yahoo! Sports will be the official provider of fantasy hockey on NHL.com, and that it will integrate NHL video throughout the game. The agreement represents the first time a sports league has partnered with a major fantasy sports provider to develop a co-branded game, as well as the first fantasy game to have player highlights integrated throughout the offering. The video will be available on team rosters and players lists, and will give fantasy players the ability to watch player videos while they scout and research players for their rosters.
The agreement significantly expands NHL video on Yahoo! Sports, which has offered up to four live NHL games a week through a distribution agreement with Versus.
Alexander Ovechkin Named Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Hockey ’08 Cover Athlete
Alexander Ovechkin, the #1 pick of the 2004 NHL draft and the NHL’s top scorer with 65 goals last season, has teamed up with Yahoo! Sports to encourage fans to play fantasy hockey this year. As one of the top players in the NHL, Ovechkin’s 65 goals and 112 points in his first professional season make him qualified to be hockey fans’ #1 draft choice in Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Hockey ’08. This year’s fantasy hockey game also includes enhanced options such as:
· New Draft Application
· Keeper Leagues
· Improved Navigation
· Enhanced Smack Talk
Fans can register for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Hockey ’08 at http://hockey.fantasysports.yahoo.com/. This season fans can access the games from the NHL scoreboard, within the hockey fantasy game, and throughout Yahoo! Sports’ hockey editorial content at http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl.
In 2007-08, Yahoo's fantasy hockey (formerly SmallWorld) took a leap forward, integrating scores, highlights, video content and live game broadcast links into its fantasy sports platform. Partering with the NHL to integrate some of this functionality on NHL.com is the next logical step, and it is a powerful one. Combined with Yahoo's hiring of former San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Ross McKeon
as NHL editor, and Greg Wyshynski
as their NHL blogger, you have to like the direction they are moving in if you are a fan of NHL content.
- Launch of New NHL.com Puts the Complete National Hockey League Experience on Every Fan's Desktop
- Earlier this summer San Jose's Silver Creek Sportsplex
roller skating facility hosted the NARCH national roller hockey championship. From July 11th until July 27th, Silvercreek hosted 426 teams for 1097 total games played. Teams across the U.S. and Canada, as well as from Central America, South America, Europe and Asia were all represented.
From Hockey and Skating Magazine:
"I don't think it's a stretch to say that the 2008 NARCH Finals was the best this sport has ever seen" NARCH president Daryn Goodwin said. "From the number of teams (436), to the quality of the competition, to the facility and their staff, it was just an amazing 17 days of hockey that will be tough to duplicate. We'll of course try our best!"
There were an estimated 15,000 participants and spectators who made their way to Silvercreek for the NARCH tournament. In March and April of 2007, Sharks Ice in San Jose (formerly Logitech Ice) hosted the USA Women's/Girls Hockey Championships. San Jose hosted a three tier 32-team women's tournament, and a four tier 48-team girl's tournament. Sharkspage blog coverage of that tournament is available here
. There were estimates of over 1500 participants and a large number of spectators for that tournament as well.
- Sharks center Jeremey Roenick co-hosted KNTV-11's NBC Sports Sunday along with Raj Mathai. New Sharks head coach Todd McLellan had a brief cameo behind one of the television cameras in studio. Roenick on the injury to Torrey Mitchell, "this is going to be a huge loss for us." I missed the online webcast following the television show, but several fans mentioned it at the Teal and White game. The Sharks uploaded a clip of the show on Sharks.tv here
- Also seen at the Teal and White game Tuesday night, The Wave Magazine
crew were in attendance shooting images for their upcoming Sharks preview issue in October.
- For a quick tour of several NHL training camps, Hockeys Future
radio has several informative podcasts available for download. Ben Wright on Atlanta, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch on the Blue Jackets, Arpon Basu of the CP on Montreal, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer and several others are worth a listen. Brad Holland and Shawn Roarke of the NHL also break down some of the leagues best scouts. Holland praised the stacked development system in Los Angeles, noting that there are so many high quality prospects spread through the system that even if some do not pan out the Kings will have an infusion of young talent at the NHL level for many years to come.
Another downloadable podcast note, NHL Radio with E.J. Hradekstarted up again earlier this week and is available on the NHL Network Online
. Bob McKenzie's appearance from Monday is available on their podcast central.
For an informative look at the Sharks training camp and preseason situation, visit Mike and Doug at the dudesonhockey.com
podcast. One of the hosts was surprised by his wife singing the national anthem on Tuesday at the Teal and White game, the other host is debuting his local hockey radio show Saturday called Chomp Talk (1220AM, 5-6PM).
- Several local college hockey teams kick off the 2008-09 season this weekend. San Jose State
opens against Weber St tonight at 8PM, and plays them again Saturday at 7PM (both games at Sharks Ice in San Jose). Santa Clara
begins its second season October 4th against Stanford (9PM at Sharks Ice in San Jose). Stanford
has 2 games against Sacramento State Sept. 26th and 27th (4:40PM and 7:10PM, both games at the Redwood City Ice Oasis). Cal Berkeley
opens 2008-09 October 10th and 11th against UCLA (8:45PM and 5:45PM, both games at the Oakland Ice Center).
[Update] TSN.CA'S 30 teams in 30 days: San Jose Sharks
Once again, Joe Thornton was the catalyst of the offence and got some help from unexpected places. Coming off a miserable season with the Coyotes, it appeared that Jeremy Roenick's career was virtually over. But the NHL veteran he was able to hook himself up to the rejuvenation machine and adding leadership and timely goals in San Jose. Although he found the net just 14 times last season, 10 of them were game-winning goals.
Along with Roenick's presence, the Sharks also enjoyed a nice injection of youth as Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi and Torrey Mitchell were able to contribute in their first full seasons. And no player was more important to the Sharks success last year than Evgeni Nabokov. The Russian keeper enjoyed the best season of his career, playing in a career high 77 games posting personal bests of 46 wins and 2.14 goals against average. He also finished runner up to Martin Brodeur in Vezina Trophy voting.
[Update2] Sharks Players To Host Clinic at Oakland Ice