The puck finally drops on a new NHL season this weekend and a familiar Sharks team will get another crack at bringing the Stanley Cup to Northern California.
Despite a disappointing first-round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs in the spring, the Sharks' core nucleus remains intact as the team prepares to kick off the lockout-shortened 48-game season on the road against the Calgary Flames on Sunday.
"We all still believe," forward Ryane Clowe said. "We know we've got to make hay this year. We've got to do it. We've got to win the Stanley Cup this year. There's no question about it."
The Sharks' front office brought in two new faces during the offseason. Former Sharks first-round pick Brad Stuart rejoins the team after six seasons away from the club to solidify the blue line. The team also added fourth-line toughness by signing veteran center Adam Burish.
But the team parted ways with Torrey Mitchell, who left the club in July to skate with the Minnesota Wild, and Dominic Moore, who is a free agent. But all the big names — Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Dan Boyle, Martin Havlat, Antti Niemi and Clowe — are back.
With only a week to prepare, Clowe said the Sharks should benefit from having the core lineup together.
"Everything's so familiar," he said. "When you're coming out of the gates like that and you don't even have any exhibition games, it's very important to have the same guys."
Sharks return core group, optimistic for lockout-shortened season
San Francisco Examiner | Jan 17