Passing the Torch: Skating My Final Shift For Blades Of Teal


Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Stepping Away- Blades of Teal has been an amazing ride for me. I cannot say enough how grateful I am to have had the wonderful opportunity to write for this Blog over the last three and a half years. Through that time I have found myself doing things I never thought I would do, including having the privilege to cover San Jose Sharks hockey. Before writing for Blades of Teal I never really dabbled much in social media, never even seriously considered opening a Facebook or Twitter account. Over three years later I have done both and met some amazing people and made some amazing friends. I cannot say enough about the experience, I just hope I did enough for you the readers. This was an opportunity I really appreciated. As we get older, things change in our lives. At the age of 53 I’ve had the unique opportunity to cut my teeth on NHL hockey early in my life as a California Seals fan. I experienced my first NHL game at age 9 in 1970 and never looked back. Though the Seals moved to Cleveland in 1976, and disbanded a year later they always have a place in my heart. I remember when I was at the Spartan Pub at San Jose State University in 1983, over a few beers myself and some hockey nuts wondered if the Bay Area would see another NHL franchise. I remember my telling my friends that it would happen within the next 5 to 10 years maximum. I had no idea about the Sharks ofcourse or that the NHL would grant the franchise to San Jose. I just knew the Northern California always followed the sport of NHL hockey and it would only make sense for an expansion franchise since they already had a team in Los Angeles. When the NHL announced the birth of the San Jose Sharks who would begin play in the 1991-92 season, I was psyched! The Cow Palace days were only the humble beginning in what would become a love affair for millions of hockey fans in Northern California and around the world.

It is with this article and with a humble heart that I am stepping away here at Blades of Teal. It’s time for a changing of the guard and to pass the torch onto the new staff that has been assembled here. I am not leaving over any disagreements with the staff or with Fansided. As a matter of fact, I am grateful for the tremendous opportunity I was given here and will always be appreciative of it. My reasons for stepping away are largely to get things in my own life in order and to take care of the things I need to do at this time which includes my health and sanity. It’s certainly has nothing to do with whether or not I agree with how the Sharks run their franchise. They can run it however they choose, that right exclusively belongs to them and them alone. I am not planning on retiring as a writer as I will continue on when the time is right. You can be certain you have not read the last “My Two Cents” piece, far from it. For me now is just a good time for a sabbatical from writing. Ashley Hagewood has put a strong staff together here that will carry the torch of this fine blog very well. I was not asked to step down, this is something I am doing on my own. I have been absent for the last two months largely so I can step back and assess things going on in my own life. I am fine and am in solid spirits. It just seems that now is the right time to do this. It’s also because I feel the staff here is solid and I have done all I can do at this time. I will resurface again when the time is right and you can bet it will not only be a hockey oriented forum, but a forum that’s heavy in all of the major sports (and even collegiate sports). I will still do my best to make it up the the Shark Tank twice a year coming up north from my humble perch in the San Diego area.

There are several people I want to thank. I want to start by thanking Tim Redinger. We may not have always seen things eye to eye, but I know he has his heart invested in Fansided and there is a reason their forums are as successful as they are. I also want to thank Franklin Steele, Amy Gist, Eric Kuhre, Ryan Bayer, Eric He, Ashley Hagewood and ofcourse the man who brought me on board at the start of the 2010-11 season, Alex Schirru. I also want to thank Frank Rekas who actually wrote for the Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks Fansided blogs, but was always a good influence and someone I tried to emulate here at Blades of Teal.  Frank always gave me good advise which I value. There are probably some people I missed here and if I did my apologies. You all had a hand in my success here.

As I go, I am hoping I am leaving Blades of Teal better than I found it. If I did, than I succeeded in what I had set out to do. I know there are some articles that not everyone agreed with. Just keep in mind that my view was more of a fan in the stands than of someone who was an insider (I certainly was not). I feel the Editor-in-Chief  Ashley has assembled quite a staff that is more than equipped to take on the Sharks 2014-15 season, and beyond! This staff has done good work thus far and the season is still three weeks away. Trust this staff, they are good and will be one of the most objective sources of information on your San Jose Sharks.

I don’t know how the Sharks will fair in this upcoming season. They have a lot of decisions to make with the personnel they have. I just hope and pray they make the right decisions and find a way that will lead a path towards winning the Stanley Cup some day. Admittedly, Sharks fans may have to wait a few more seasons for this since Los Angeles and Anaheim are very powerful now. However should the Sharks one day be passing the Cup from man to man on a tired sheet of ice come some June day in the future, I can guarantee you the wait will be well worth it. I hope this happens not only for the team, but all of us fans who have been there through the good times and bad. After last season, it cannot be said that the Sharks don’t have a purpose and a reason. They have both and more now than maybe they even know themselves. I will still offer my thoughts and opinions on the Sharks through my Twitter account at @Kingshark49

In closing, I want you the reader to know that I wrote from the heart though admittedly I wore a lot of it on my sleeve. It’s passion, without that it’s not possible. When the time is right I will return though most likely in another forum. Even when that happens, please do not take your eyes off of Blades of Teal. These writers work hard and the hours they put in are nothing short of a labor of love. On top of all of that, they give you some of the best coverage and most objective Sharks news and information you will find anywhere on the internet. I will even continue to use Blades of Teal for a resource myself because I know it’s reliable and objective.  Again, thank you for readership. As for the staff here today, the ones that have come and gone, and the ones who run Fansided, thanks for a great ride. It was well worth it.

The Kingshark

In Memory of Jessica Redfield