SJ Sharks report: Joe Thornton Signs with Toronto Maple Leafs

Former San Jose Shark Joe Thornton joins the Toronto Maple Leafs after more than 15 seasons with the Sharks. Thornton who makes his home in San Jose in the off season left for Toronto Friday to sign with the Leafs (file photo from mercurynews.com)

By Mary Walsh

Joe Thornton signed a one year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday. The contract is worth $700,000. Currently, Thornton is in Switzerland, playing with HC Davos of the Swiss National League. He expects to be ready to go when the NHL starts the new season.

Thornton’s absence will be noticeable in San Jose. Whether he wore the Captain’s C or not, Thornton was a leader in the Sharks dressing room. His play and his experience helped guide many younger players over many seasons. Fans came to consider him very much the face of the franchise, even if he was not drafted by San Jose. The Sharks team Twitter account said simply: “Going to log off for a bit. Brb. Maybe.”

Evander Kane tweeted : “Man I’m going to miss ya, but feel very fortunate to play with you and become great friends. So many fun memories in a short period of time. I’ll make sure to keep your seat next to me at the back of the plane vacant until you come back.”

Brent Burns tweeted: “Daaaamn…. going to miss a lot more then just laughing with this guy… ultimate teammate, friend and guy to learn from..@MapleLeafs got a great one coming!”

Joining the Maple Leafs is more than leaving San Jose for Thornton. A Toronto Sun headline today reads: “Greybeard Joe Thornton comes home to join Maple Leafs.” The Maple Leafs are iconic to the hockey world, but Thornton was born in London, Ontario, so Toronto means family and a return to his roots.

Thornton is the leader among active players in points with 1,509. He scored 1,055 of those with San Jose over 15 seasons. He won the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy in 2006, for his performance during season that saw him traded from Boston to San Jose.

Patrick Marleau tweeted (by way of his wife’s account):

For more than two decades, Jumbo and I have been friends, with the vast majority of those years being teammates, too. I now consider him a brother. Toronto has gained a tremendous influence, and we will miss his presence here in San Jose. Good luck in TO! -PM

Marleau has just signed a one year contract with San Jose. Three seasons ago, he signed with Toronto and played two seasons there. According to NHL.com, Marleau said at that time that it was possible Thornton would sign with Toronto as well. Marleau had a three-year contract with Toronto, a deal that San Jose was unprepared to match.

One would think that the Sharks would have been willing to offer $700,000 for one more year of Thornton. Whether they did make that offer or not, Thornton’s absence signals significant changes to come in San Jose. After recent disappointments, that is probably a good thing in the long run. Whatever the future holds, the Sharks family will miss Jumbo Joe Thornton.

Sharks Report: Sharks Sign Marleau, Other Familiar Faces

Returning for the third time the San Jose Sharks Patrick Marleau is back after playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. Marleau also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs after leaving San Jose the first time. (image from @SAPSports)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks have been busy signing and re-signing familiar players. Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto return from their 2020 pandemic playoff teams. Kevin Labanc and Stefan Noesen were resigned. The Sharks also added a goaltender, trading a 2022 fifth round pick to the Minnesota Wild for Devan Dubnyk and a 2022 seventh round pick.

Of Dubnyk, the Sharks press release said: “Over his 11-year NHL career, the three-time NHL All-Star (2016, 2017, 2019) has appeared in 520 NHL games, earning a 247-195-52 record with a 2.58 GAA, .915 save percentage and 32 shutouts. He has also appeared in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with Minnesota, earning an 8-18 record with a 2.72 GAA and .904 SV% with two shutouts.” Minnesota retained 50% of Dubnyk’s salary. This is the last year of that contract.

Sharks General Manager, Doug Wilson said: “Devan has been one of the League’s top goaltenders for many years and after playing so many years in the Western Conference, is someone our hockey staff is very familiar with. As we head into what will surely be a unique season, his acquisition gives us a high-quality and experienced tandem of netminders.”

Patrick Marleau resigned a one-year contract with San Jose after playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins from the last trade deadline through a 2020 playoff run. Last season, Marleau joined the Sharks after the season started and had a good start, which faded along with the rest of the 2019-20 Sharks team. Despite that, he reached a number of milestones in 58 games with the Sharks. The team press release ennumerated them:

“In his first game back in teal, Marleau scored two goals to become the eighth player in NHL history to score a goal in his teens & 40s with the same franchise on Oct. 10 at Chicago. On Dec. 12, 2019 vs. the New York Rangers, he and Joe Thornton became the first set of teammates in NHL history having 1,600 regular-season games to their resume to play in the same game. Marleau appeared in his 1,700th NHL game on Jan. 11 vs. the Dallas Stars to become the fifth skater to reach the mark and scored his 100th career game-winning goal as a Shark the same night. On Jan. 27, he collected his 1,100th point as a Shark, achieving his 22nd consecutive season of at least 10 or more goals.”

Matt Nieto has also returned after playing 70 games with the Colorado Avalanche, including a playoff run in the Edmonton bubble. Nieto as drafted by the Sharks in 2011. Of the move, Doug Wilson said in a press release:

“Matt’s a player we’re obviously familiar with having been here for our Stanley Cup Final run in 2016 and he plays with speed and energy. His quickness and defensive responsibility made him one of the top penalty killers on Colorado and we feel that those assets, along with his decision making and playmaking, will bring a lot of elements to our team. We’re excited to have Matt back in San Jose.”

Kevin Labanc was re-signed to a four-year contract. Per ESPN, Labanc’s contract is worth an annual $4,725,000. Wilson said of the young forward:

“Kevin brings a rare level of offensive skill and creativity to our line-up and has established himself as a top-six forward in our league. His Game 7 playoff performance last season is one of the most iconic moments in Sharks history and is a perfect example of the impact he can have on a hockey game. Kevin has shown a consistent ability to perform at a high level in both the regular season and the playoffs and he will be a big part of our club in the coming years.”

Stefan Noesen was also re-signed from last year’s roster. Last season, Noesen joined the Sharks December 19 after being claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh. In the foreshortened season with San Jose, Noesen scored seven goals and to assists, and took 32 penalty minutes. He was the first Sharks player since Timo Meier to score a goal in his team debut.

Of Noesen’s return to the team, Wilson said:

“Stefan came in here last season and made a pretty seamless transition both on and off the ice. He plays the game with a high tempo and energy and isn’t afraid to stick up for his teammates. We think he fits well with how we want our team to play and are happy he is returning to San Jose.”

One very familiar face is still missing from next season’s roster: Joe Thornton. He has not yet signed with an NHL team, but is playing in Davos, Switzerland to prepare. He has not ruled out coming back to San Jose, but it is far from certain at this time.

Headline Sports podcast with Daniel Dullum: Dallas lives another day in double OT win; Seven game schedule for college football teams

The Dallas Stars Corey Perry (10) goes top shelf on Tampa Bay goaltender  Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) for a first period goal in game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup at Rogers Centre in Edmonton (Canadian Press photo)

On Headline Sports with Daniel:

1 Stanley Cup finals – Lightning had a chance to close out Dallas

2 More major college football conferences firing up shortened schedules

3 Swingin ‘ A’s headed to the MLB playoffs

4 Tom Brennaman resigned from the Cincinnati Reds as broadcaster for the Reds

5 The passing of former Chicago Bear great Gayle Sayers RIP

Daniel Dullum does Headline Sports podcasts each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 5 podcast with Len Shapiro: You can be assured of another tough battle for game 6 Monday night

The Dallas Stars goaltender  Anton Khudobin (35) was kept busy all night and he stopped just enough shots to help the Stars win by one goal in double overtime. Here Khudobin stops the a shot as the Lightning’s left wing Yanni Gourde (37) and the Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen are ready for a loose puck (AP News photo)

On the NHL Stanley Cup podcast with Len:

#1 The Dallas Stars just got by and escaped elimination with  3-2 double overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning as the Stars cut the Lightning’s series lead 3-2.

#2 In the first period the Dallas Stars Corey Perry (4) scored at 17:52 making it 1-0.

#3 Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ondej Palat (11) in the second period tied it up at 4:37 1-1

#4 In the third period the Lightning’s Mikhail Segachev (3) scored at 3:38 as Tampa Bay took the lead 2-1. The Stars Joe Pavelski (13) scored at 13:15 to tie it up once more 2-2.

#5 In double overtime the Dallas Stars Corey Perry (5) scored at 9:23 for the win 3-2

Len Shapiro did analysis on the NHL for the 2019-20 season on http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Matt Harrington: Lightning just get by Stars in OT 5-4 to take 3-1 series lead

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Kevin Shattenkirk (22) who scored the game winning goal in overtime at 6:34 against the Dallas Stars in game four at Rogers Centre in Edmonton (Canadian Press photo)

On Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Matt:

#1  Matt let’s go over the scoring in game 4 of the Finals on Friday night, John Klinberg scored his fourth goal of the playoffs to open the game in the first period at 7:17 Stars lead 1-0. Joe Pavelski (11) scores at 18:28 Stars take a 2-0 lead. The Bolts Brayden Point (12) scored at 19:27 cut the Starts lead to 2-1 to end the first period.

#2 Point (13) gets his second goal of the game to tie up the game 2-2 in the second period at 2:08, Corey Perry (3) gets the Stars the lead again 3-2 with a goal at 8:26 and the Lightning’s Yanni Gourde (7) scores at 18:54 to end the second period with a 3-3 tie.

#3 Alex Killorn scored for the Lightning to put them ahead once again at 6:41  to make it 4-3. The Stars Joe Pavelski(12) in the third period scores at 11:35 and once again the game is tied 4-4 forcing overtime.

#4 The game winner comes from the Lightning’s Kevin Shattenkirk (3) at 6:34 in overtime a power play goal for the 5-4 Tampa Bay win and the Lightning go up 3-1 in the series.

#5 Matt game 5 is on tonight the Lightning now have the momentum to win and end the series four games to one after getting a 3-1 series lead.

Matt Harrington does the NHL Stanley Cup Finals Saturdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Joe Lami: Lightning take a 2-1 series lead on Stars in 5-2 win

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stephen Stamkos (arms raised behind the net) scores a big goals after returning from an injury with the Dallas Stars goalie  Anton Khudobin (35) swatting away the puck in first period (AP News photo)

On the NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Joe:

#1 How crucial was it for for the Tampa Bay Lightning to even the series 1-1 after losing game 1. They certainly didn’t want to go to game 3 tonight down 2-0.

#2 For game 3 tonight the Lightning are really depending on goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy who stopped 27 shots on Monday night.

#3 A narrow win Joe 3-2 and all three goals by Tampa Bay really counted to secure them for the rest of the game.

#4 Bolts head coach Joe Cooper said with a 3-0 lead shrunk down a one goal 3-2 lead the team never goes into panic mode.

#5 So its Lightning and Stars once again tonight for game 3 Joe talk about how you see this one finishing out in the bubble in Edmonton.

Joe Lami did the NHL podcasts throughout the 2020 season on http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Sharks Stick with Boughner

San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner will get another season behind the bench for the Sharks as general manager Doug Wilson is happy to bring him back for 2020-21 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

On Tuesday, the San Jose Sharks announced that Bob Boughner would be their ninth Head Coach. Boughner took over as Interim Head Coach for the Sharks half way through last season, replacing Peter DeBoer.

In Tuesday’s press release, the Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson assessed Boughner’s time as Interim Head Coach. “Bob did a tremendous job last season, getting our group back to playing with an identity and structure that we need in order to be successful,” said Wilson. “We saw a marked improvement in our play in several key areas during the second half of the season, before losing some key players to injury.”

After a long NHL playing career and several successful seasons coaching Junior Hockey, Boughner joined the Sharks in 2015 as an assistant coach. In 2017, he was named Head Coach of the Florida Panthers. Two seasons later, he was replaced by Joel Quenneville in Florida and returned to the Sharks as an assistant coach. As a Head Coach in the NHL, his record is 94-82-25.

In the partial season as Interim Head Coach for the Sharks, Boughner saw his team win just 14 of 37 games, continuing the abysmal trend they were on when Peter DeBoer was fired. To make an already terrible season worse, the team lost Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Erik Karlsson to injury shortly after Boughner took over.

After the announcement Tuesday, Boughner thanked the Sharks owner and General Manager for bringing him back:

I’m very excited about the opportunity to return to the San Jose Sharks organization as head coach. I want to thank Hasso Plattner and Doug Wilson for their trust in me. Last year was a difficult season for everyone but I think we learned a lot about ourselves as a group and we made some positive strides over the second half of the year.

The roster that Boughner will have when regular play resumes will be somewhat changed from last season. While the injured players will likely be back, some long-time Sharks were traded at the deadline, such as defenseman Justin Braun and forward Barclay Goodrow. After struggling as the team did through the abbreviated 2019-2020 season, the Sharks would likely benefit from change. Whether the new Head Coach is enough of a change remains to be seen.

The Sharks also added Rocky Thompson as associate coach and John Madden as assistant coach. Of Thompson and Madden, Wilson said: “We’re also very pleased to add Rocky and John to our staff. Both come with a wealth of experience, both in playing the game and as teachers and leaders. With a healthy and motivated group of players, we are confident that this staff will do a terrific job leading our group in the coming years.”

Bob Boughner looks forward to working with his new coaches. In the Sharks press release, he said:

Rocky and John will bring some fresh energy and excitement to our group. Both have been head coaches, worked on coaching staffs in the NHL and have lots of experience working with and developing young players. It was important that anyone we brought in from the outside come from a culture of winning, which is what we are used to in San Jose. Rocky and John have the credibility and work ethic to help us get our talented team back to that level.

The coaching staff is rounded out by Evgeni Nabokov as goaltending coach, Dan Darrow as assistant video coach and Charlie Townsend as analyst/assistant to the NHL coaching staff. All are returning from last season.

Headline Sports podcast with Daniel Dullum: Stars draw first blood win NHL Finals opener; Pac 12 football still mulling it over; plus more

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) gets a save on a Dallas Stars’ shot the Stars Jamie Benn (14) looks on Sat Sep 19, 2020 at Rogers Centre in Edmonton (AP News photo)

On Headlines podcast with Daniel:

1 Stars dominate in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals

2 Pressure building on Pac-12 to reverse its decision to delay football and other fall sports; SEC football starts next week

 3 WNBA semifinals underway

4 Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire retires, citing health issues

5 NBA: Celtics’ Gordon Hayward reportedly won’t leave bubble for the birth of his child

 5 Sports world honors Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday

Daniel Dullum does Headlines Sports each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: Stars continue to surge and shock the hockey world taking game 1

Number 35 with 35 saves the Dallas Stars goaltender Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin and his Stars teammates have something to celebrate after picking up the first win of the Stanley Cup Finals on Sat Sep 19, 2020 at Rogers Centre in Edmonton (Canadian Press photo)

On the NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Len:

#1 The Dallas Stars continue to shock the hockey world they came into Rogers Centre on Saturday night and grabbed all the gusto and defeated the Mighty Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy faced a barrage of Stars shots.

#2  Vasilevskiy allowed three goals and faced 19 shots in the loss the Stars were able to get an empty netter.

#3 The Lightning were expected to win the first game and are favored in the series but ever since the Stars caught their own lightning in a bottle with a huge series win against the Vegas Knights to advance to this round they’ve been unstoppable.

#4 The Stars got goal scoring help from Joel Hanley in the first period at 5:40, Jamie Oleksiak 12:30 in the second period, Joel Kiviranta at 19:32 in the second period, Jason Dickinson late in the third period at 18:42.

#5 Mary Lisa after a three goal beating by the Stars on Saturday night will the Lightning come back on Monday night for game 2 off kilter or will they come back with a vengeance?

Mary Lisa is a NHL podcast analyst and podcasts the NHL Stanley Cup Finals for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Matt Harrington: How the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning match up for tonight’s Finals

2020 Stanley Cup Finals logo as the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning battle for the Stanley Cup in game 1 tonight at Rogers Centre in Edmonton (nhl.com image)

NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 The Tampa Bay Lightning are coming off a huge win from Thursday night in Toronto as they clipped the New York Islanders 2-1 in overtime to win in six games 4-2 to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

#2 The series itself shows you that the Lightning is not a team to cave in and they provided some strong defense holding the Islanders to jut one goal in game six with Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopping 26 shots and allowing just one goal.

#3 Matt, Brayden Point returned for the Lightning on Thursday night and had four shots in 25:47 on the ice. He was out and the team medical staff really got him turned around after he took a hit from the Islanders Adam Pelech.

#4 Looking at tonight’s Stanley Cup Finals all games will be played in Edmonton which should give both the Lightning and the Dallas Stars time to focus on morning skates, meetings, no traveling, another series with a quite empty rink, and game one tonight.

#5 The Stars had some great help getting to the Finals with a shocking defeat over the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Finals how do you see Dallas matching up with the Lightning for game 1 tonight.

Matt does the NHL podcasts on Saturdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com