San Jose Sharks: The Barracuda Effect


San Jose Sharks fans have a slew of reasons to be excited for the upcoming season. A new coaching staff, fresh faces, well-rested players, and the organization’s 25-year anniversary will make this season particularly interesting.

But perhaps the most intriguing new addition to San Jose is the Sharks American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda. The team will make their debut on Oct. 9th at SAP Center where they’ll play 34 of their regular season home games.

This is exciting for so many reasons. First, and foremost, more hockey in the Bay Area which is important.

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The Sharks and Barracuda will have 13 doubleheaders this season, making for a full day of hockey on numerous occasions. Bay Area fans will have a chance to regularly witness the evolution of the San Jose Barracuda and its players as they compete to make it to the NHL.

In a state experiencing a surge in popularity regarding the sport of hockey, this could not have come at a better time. Sharks fans will be that much more familiar with players who may enjoy time on both teams this season.

Last year, players such as Chris Tierney and Barclay Goodrow spent time in the AHL before making an impact at the NHL level. This season, fans could get an early look at prospects such as Nikolay Goldobin or Joonas Donskoi who could make their debuts in the NHL at some point during the year.

The obvious benefit of having the Barracuda so close is simple logistics. Flying a player across the country to dress for an NHL game takes time. On short notice, that can and has been an issue for the Sharks when their AHL team was located in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Remember last year when the Sharks struggled to find a backup goalie for the November 26th game against the Calgary Flames? Alex Stalock and Troy Grosenick were unavailable and the team couldn’t fly anyone in from Worcester in time. The result was the temporary signing of San Jose State Alumni Ryan Lowe.

The Sharks went on to lose that game 2-0, but Antti Niemi remained in net and the whole thing made for an interesting story. Still, that’s not an issue the Sharks would like to face again. That was yesterday’s problem.

Fans should feel more connected to the Sharks than ever before as they witness the growth of some particularly gifted rookies. In more ways than one, the future of hockey in San Jose is looking up.

Next: Top Impact Rookies For The Sharks In 2015-16

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