Welcome back Sharks fans! For some of us its been a long summer, especially the few of us brave enough to watch the game 7 tragedy occur in Los Angeles. Sure, we had the occasional Jason Demers joke or Brodie Brazil v Logan Couture baseball feud on twitter to feed our need for hockey, but there is nothing quite like the beginning to training camp, and the fast approaching season to get fans excited.
With the new season comes a couple of new contracts: both Pavelski and Couture securing big deals in the off-season, demonstrating Doug Wilson’s faith in two of his newer players. With these big deals in place, you start to look at some of the older players: Marleau, Thornton, Boyle and you don’t see them getting huge deals; yet. Is this a sign of things to come? A changing of the guard? Is the team going to push Joe and Logan into the spotlight and roles of leadership, while letting the older guys put leading the team on the back burner and focus more on their game? Do we see Thornton keeping the C all year or does he pass it off?
With training camp officially opening the public gets their first (for some of us die-hards who went to the rookie scrimmage this july second) look at all the new faces the Sharks have brought on board, as well as some of their favorites as the prepare to take on a newly aligned NHL in the 2013-2014 season. This up-coming monday marks our first pre-season game against the Vancouver Canucks. We had little trouble with their divin…er…hockey team in the playoffs, with most of Vancouver’s hardest hits coming verbally from former coach Alain Vigneault. Will they be a tougher bunch under former Rangers head coach John Tortorella will be one of many questions I have about the status of their club following being swept away so easily in round one last year.
For those of you interested: Training Camp is open to the public tomorrow at 9 am at Sharks Ice in San Jose (it’s off of 10th and Alma). I’ll be there watching some of the younger guys, trying to see who is actually fighting to make this team and who is just planning on coasting into it.
I for one look forward to what 13-14 holds for our boys in teal. I’m most excited to see how/if Pavelski and Couture step up to a bigger role in team leadership to go with those big contracts. What are you most excited about? Least? What are you worried about?