It has been 17 years since Nolan last played in a teal jersey, but his impact on San Jose is forever engrained in the team and city’s history.
Owen Nolan made his mark on the San Jose Sharks in the franchise’s earliest stages. But despite all of that, Team Teal has yet to retire any number, including his number 11. It is time for the franchise to have its first banner, and it should be Nolan’s.
No one question the significance of his leadership with the team. Serving as the captain for five seasons, he is tied with Patrick Marleau as the longest-tenured leader in Sharks’ history.
From a statistical standpoint, his numbers speak for themselves and further the argument that his jersey should, in fact, be retired. In 8 seasons, he recorded 206 goals, 245 assists, along with four all-star appearances.
According to former Sharks media relation coordinator Jason Plank. At the time he left the team, he held the San Jose all-time record in goals, assists, points, power-play goals, shorthanded goals, shots, and hat tricks.
Moving to his local significance long after changing teams in 2003, he remains a San Jose resident in the Almaden area. His kids go to public school in the San Jose Unified School District, his daughter currently attends Leland High School, and his son is slated to attend the school as well.
In fact, he has spoken highly of the San Jose area in several interviews and made an impactful statement while speaking about the community.
"“Ever since I got traded to San Jose, I knew this was going to be a place I could live for a long-time after hockey was done,” said Nolan. “Raising a family here, it’s a really easy decision for me to help out the community any way I can. I played hockey here, the fans and the city have been great to me so any way I can help give back is a bonus.”"
His immediate impact on the community was selling his 1,157-acre ranch situated at beautiful Mount Hamilton to the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department back in 2012.
To this day, nature and wildlife in the area are still protected and left in-tact. Nolan could have sold that land to anyone, and Sand Hill Road venture capitalists would have paid a pretty penny for it.
Instead, he took a significant pay cut because he cares about the community he lives in. The land that now belongs to the county has several beautiful trails where residents can enjoy views of the entire San Francisco Bay Area and local nature up close.
He is also a business owner of the restaurant Britannia Arms, located near his home on the Almaden Expressway. Number 11 is a native of Ontario, but his parents are originally from Belfast. The restaurant not only benefits the community but allows him to express his United Kingdom heritage.
If that was not enough, he still regularly attends games at the SAP Center and is one of the team’s most active fans.
He involves himself in the Sharks Alumni foundation currently spearheaded by former Shark Douglas Murray.
Owen Nolan checks off every box of what you want to see as an involved San Jose resident and forever Shark. His impact both on and off the ice warrants his number 11 retired without question.