A few tidbits to pass along for those who weren’t able to attend the Sharks first training camp session this morning:
* Brent Burns has wasted little time becoming a crowd favorite in San Jose. Since coming to town, Burns has already signed a long-term extension, essentially announcing his intentions to stay with San Jose well into the future. He has also frequently taken to Twitter (@burnzie88) to declare his love for his new team and town, and even went so far as to use the social networking site to invite locals to join him on a bike ride.
This morning, Burns was far and away the most entertaining Shark to watch on the ice. He exuberantly (and obviously jokingly) celebrated goals scored during routine drills, performed a 1080 spin on his knees as a means of coming to a stop to join the team in stretching, and also happened to deliver one of the most consistent and competitive efforts of any Shark on the ice once it came time to get down to business. Needless to say, the Sharks faithful in attendance were appreciative.
*A few regulars were unavailable to take the ice this morning. Antti Niemi is recovering from having a cyst removed and is day-to-day. Fellow goaltender Antero Nittymaki was also unavailable, and his ailments are rumored to be a bit more serious. Numerous outlets have been reporting that Nitty might miss up to 12 weeks with an injured groin.
Michael Handzus, currently slotted in the Sharks’ 3rd line center roll, got into town later than the rest of his teammates after attending the funeral of his late Slovakian countryman, Pavol Demitra. He is scheduled to take the ice for the first time tomorrow.
Finally, Marc-Edouard Vlasic was unavailable with flu-like symptoms.
* Martin Havlat skated on a line with Logan Couture and Ryane Clowe this morning, but was wearing an orange “no contact” jersey. Havlat, who had offseason shoulder surgery, has been skating for some time now but is not yet cleared for contact.
* Despite the offseason overhaul of San Jose’s D-corps, it seems that most have been assuming the familiar twosome of Dan Boyle and Douglas Murray would continue undisturbed through another season. And certainly, the two did take drills together for the first half of this morning’s camp. However, during the latter stages of Squad A’s practice, Coach Todd McClellan had Boyle teamed up with another offensively minded D-man: young Jason Demers. Consequently, Murray spent the rest of the practice teamed up with newcomer and fellow bruiser Colin White. It will be interesting to see if McClellan experiments further with these combos, perhaps preferring to have situational groups available to him rather than three relatively balanced pairings.
With Vlasic unavailable, Jim Vandermeer took reps alongside Pickles’ presumed D-partner Brent Burns.
* Finally, young power-forward Frazer McClaren was sporting one of the ugliest mustaches I have ever seen. Ever. And I was born in the 80′s.
How sweet it is to have hockey back! Just three weeks until opening night…
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Topics: Antero Nittymaki, Antti Niemi, Brent Burns, Dan Boyle, Douglas Murray, Frazer McClaren, Havlat Injury, Hideous Mustache, Injury, Jim Vandermeer, Logan Couture, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Martin Havlat, Michael Handzus, Pavol Demitra, Ryane Clowe, San Jose Sharks, Training Camp