April 23, 2011RATTO ARCHIVESHARKS PAGE SHARKS VIDEO
Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic will play his second game ever without his best and most persistent coach, his grandfather Ivan Vlasic, who died Wednesday after a prolonged illness.Grandpere Vlasic, 84, was born in Italy and spent World War II as a Yugoslav partisan before coming to Canada after the war. He studied law at McGill University in Montreal and got his PhD at Yale before teaching law in Florida and Ottawa. He retired as a professor emeritus in air and space law at McGill.He never played hockey but coached both his son and grandsons, and according to Grandfils Vlasic, never missed an event.He was there for every soccer game, every hockey game, me or my brothers ever played, Vlasic said. Even when I went to the NHL, he was still coaching me. Every single game, wed call, and he would give me tips. He had tips for Jumbo (Joe Thornton), too.And the main tip he provided Marc-Edouard: He would tell me to shoot. He had to make it so often because Vlasic is not by nature a shooter; in this series, he has fewer shots than only Ian White, who has five assists, and fourth liners Scott Nichol, Ben Eager and Jamal Mayers.I heard the news the day of (his passing), Vlasic said. I got to see him in December when we went to Montreal, but we didnt talk much after that because he was in an extended care facility and it was hard for him to talk. Hed had a stroke.It was not known whether Vlasic would go back to Montreal if the Sharks won Saturday night and finished their series with Los Angeles. Dates for the second round are still tentative, and dependent upon how long this and the Vancouver-Chicago series go.