Friday, August 24, 2007

Another step towards the future, whenever that may be

Before July 1st, the Sharks re-signed blueliner Craig Rivet to help bolster their defense and be the all important right-handed shot on the Power Play. He was given a 4 year deal worth $3.5 million, keeping him in teal (and orange) until the summer of 2011 (barring a trade, of course).

On July 1st, Doug Wilson made another move, this time giving an extension to another big piece of the Sharks PP, and probably the most important player on the team. He extended the contract of God, er, Joe Thornton, for 3 more years, keeping him a Shark until the summer of 2011 as well. The remarkable part of this deal is the term, getting Joe to agree to stay a Shark for just $7.2 million for each of the next three years, when most analysts agree that he could have gotten the league max, which was somewhere around 8 or 9 million dollars, but wanted to stay in San Jose.

Well, Doug Wilson is at it again, this time extending his extensions to the youth. Today came the official announcement of the extension of (hopefully) the top line left winger of the present and near future, agreeing to a 6 year, $26 million deal with Milan Michalek, keeping him in San Jose until the end of the 2013/14 season. Michalek, just 22, had 66 points last year, and is threatening to fully break out, as he is expected to spend most, if not all of the 2007/08 season on the top line with Jonathan Cheechoo and the aforementioned God/Joe Thornton.

However it may shake out for Doug Wilson and the Sharks on the ice this season, one thing is for certain, Milan Michalek, Craig Rivet, and Joe Thornton will be Sharks for a decent amount of time, something that, for now, none of us Sharks fans will really mind.

Go Sharks (28 days until the first preseason home game)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

For Bell the sentence tolls

Just passed down is the news that former Shark (denial aside, he did wear teal) Mark Bell, who was charged with a DUI/Hit and run last summer, has been sentenced to 6 months in a Santa Clara jail, time he will serve following the 2007/08 season.

Bell was only a Shark for a year, but in a way, I feel bad for the guy. A promising hockey player gets caught up doing something stupid, and could lead down a bad road for himself if he is not careful. However, when I hear this is his third offense of the kind, my sympathy for him shrinks. Screw up once, and it's permissable/forgivable. Screw up twice, and it's slightly crappy. Screw up a third time, and well, sucks to be you, sucks even more to be affiliated with you. There is a lesson to be learned, learning it would be beneficial to all, especially when the lives of other people are involved.

With the ruling coming down on Bell, Doug Wilson's ray of light has tinged just a bit more golden, removing any sort of distraction or circus from the Sharks locker room, something that will most likely follow Bell throughout the year. On the flipside , however, John Ferguson Jr. gains just that much more ineptitude in the eyes of the public when it comes to running a successful team. It was known that taking Bell was the price of getting Toskala, but I'd be shocked if ole JFJ isn't regretting the deal just a tad. Of course, a solid year from Vesa and a return to the playoffs will probably quiet the roar of people calling for his head.

On a happier note, hockey is creeping closer every day. Training camp begins on September 13th, a mere 30 days away. September 18th is the first game of the preseason in LA. After a game on the 19th in Anaheim, the Sharks will play their first home game of the preseason against the very same Ducks on Friday, September 21st, just 38 days away. 51 days from now brings the first game of the regular season, an opening night matchup in Edmonton. And the last one, 60 days from now, the Teal (and orange) will step onto the ice at 525 W. Santa Clara in the first of 41+ meaningful contests to be played on that sheet of ice this season. Hope you wrote that all down, cause I'll only repeat that at the bottom of this post.

Go Sharks (October 13th, why aren't you tomorrow?)

30 days 9/13 Training Camp
35 days 9/18 Sharks @ Kings (first preseason game)
38 days 9/21 Ducks @ Sharks (first home preseason game)
51 days 10/4 Sharks @ Oilers (start of regular season)
60 days 10/13 Bruins @ Sharks (Sharks home opener)