The San Jose Barracuda, the new top development affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, announced their 2015-16 season schedule earlier today. The Barracuda will begin their inaugural season in the American Hockey League (AHL) and San Jose on Oct. 9 when they host the Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks) at SAP Center at 7:30 p.m.
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The Sharks will be moving their AHL team to San Jose after spending nine seasons in Worcester. The AHL created a new Pacific Division for this season that includes four other teams in California: Bakersfield Condors (Edmonton Oilers), Ontario Reign (Los Angeles Kings), San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks) and the Stockton Heat (Calgary Flames).
The Barracuda will play 68 games, 34 home games, including 13 doubleheaders with the San Jose Sharks throughout the season. The first doubleheader will occur on Saturday, Nov. 7 as the Barracuda host San Diego at 1:15 p.m., while the Sharks drop the puck against Anaheim at 7:30 p.m. For the doubleheaders, separate game tickets will be required.
According to the release, the Barracuda will play 12 games each against their fellow California brethren. Also, San Jose will square off against their other Pacific Division foes in the San Antonio Rampage (Colorado Avalanche) and the Texas Stars (Dallas Stars) six times apiece.
San Jose has the luxury of having 25 of their 34 home games falling on the weekend which should help in drawing larger crowds. The Barracuda’s longest home stand at SAP Center will occur during a six-game stretch from March 13-30, while their longest road trip will happen from Nov. 11-25 (seven games).
Another quirk of the schedule is that San Jose won’t leave the state of California until their 15th game of the season on Nov. 24 when they travel across the country to Charlotte. In fact, the Barracuda will often see long stretches of time where they won’t be forced to leave their home state.
The Barracuda kick off their two-game preseason schedule on Oct. 1 when they host Stockton at Sharks Ice.
The move of the AHL team to San Jose should provide a huge boost to the franchise as they won’t have to travel across the country to try and call up players. Also, the development staff will have more access to work with their prospects which will help in having them better prepared to contribute to the Sharks.