I can only think of one thing to say about tonight’s game against the Capitals:
LOOK! A PUPPY!
(seriously, Sharks didn’t look terrible; a step slow, and they couldn’t handle Ovechkin tonight. Well done game by the Caps, the two quick goals took the fight out of team teal tonight)
So instead, some quick ramblings about the Sharks Hall of Fame. They were talking about team hall of fames on XM this morning, which got me thinking: if I were running the Sharks Hall of Fame, who would be in it? My list. Feel free to add your own, or complain about mine:
- Kelly Kisio: Kisio is one player that gets forgotten in the early years of the Sharks — perhaps he wants to forget the pain, I dunno. But the reality is, while Doug Wilson was the first captain and the goal was for him to lead the sharks out of expansion hell, injuries prevented his being much of an impact on the ice, and it was Kisio that really held the early years of the team together. Some nights, he was the only player that seemed to be fighting the good fight, and if there was a real “first captain” that set the tone of what the Sharks wanted to be, it was Kelly Kisio. He’d be the first player I induct into the the Sharks hall of fame.
- Arturs Irbe: was the player that kept the Sharks competitive night after night. He was nevera “pretty” goalie, more of the squeal-and-lunge school of goaltending, but it worked. He made the Sharks a lot better than they were, and deserves to be one of the initial inductees into the Hall of Fame.
- Jeff Odgers: Odgers more than any other players defined the lunchpail ethic of the Sharks and was the guy who brought his heart and work ethic to the game every night. Not the most talented guy in the game — but his stint as captain really helped create the shark’s team identity.
- Igor Larionov, Sergei Makarov, Johan Garpenlov: I don’t know that these three players are Sharks hall of famers individually (even though Larionov and Makarov are hall of famers for their contributions to hockey overall) — but this was the first true “identity line” that played together for a significant time and really showed magic on the ice to the fans. So they go in as a line, as they played on the team.
- Owen Nolan: Another player who defined “what it takes to be a Shark” and the Sharks first true All Star.
- Brian Marchment: Okay, okay. Just kidding.
- Mike Rathje: who doesn’t get the credit he deserves for what he did, because the fans could only see what they thought he ought to be.
- Tony Granato: for taking what Jeff Odgers started and helping it mature.
- Jeff Friesen: who had a better career as a Shark as many (including myself) gave him credit for, because he never quite lived up to his draft position.
- Mike Vernon: just isn’t quite enough of a Shark in my eyes.
- Mike Ricci: ditto, but it came down to Odgers or Ricci (but not both) in my eyes, and Odgers won.
- Jamie Baker: most dramatic goal in franchise history, great player for the Sharks — but not quite the team hall of fame to me.
Future inductees: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Evgeny Nabokov. (maybe Dan Boyle, depending on how long he stays…)
- George Gund: let’s not forget how much time and energy (and money) he put into making this team successful
- Dan Rusanowsky: The voice of the Sharks. Always will be.
- Frank Albin: who really has defined how the Sharks look on TV and made them very entertaining and accessible.
- Dean Lombardi: for how far he took this team, even if it wasn’t the final prize. Don’t underestimate how much of the team’s recent success is built on his shoulders.
- Tricia Sullivan: because I know who really keeps this franchise functioning.
- Joe Will and Tim Burke: the two people who make the draft work and understand which players in the system are expendable (and which aren’t). They’re the core of the foundation of the young players that the Sharks keep bringing into the team, and you simply can’t succeed unless you develop your own stars.
- Doug Wilson? — probably as a builder, but he still has some unfinished business before he gets nominated.
Honorable mentions: Roy Sommer, Mike Aldritch, Ken Arnold, Tom “Woody” Woodcock, Bob Friedlander, Dieter Ruehle, Warren Strelow.