Brodie's anwers to your lockout questions

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Brodie's anwers to your lockout questions

1. How long will the lockout last?Gut instinct says somewhere near, but not long before American Thanksgiving. Both sides have a lot of dollars and momentumat stake once the calendar hits December between nationally televised games, HBOs 247 buildup, and the Winter Classic itself. Clearly,the combination of those elements add significant extra pressure to negotiations.

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2. Is it possible the lockout will sacrifice an entire season?Unfortunately I have to say yes, it is a possibility. Doing the math, if we dont get a resolution in principle by December 15th, Im not sure how ameaningful schedule could be logistically laid out or played out. Im looking at that mid-December date (or somewhere around it) as the breaking point for a hockey season. 3. If a resolution is reached, how quickly could the season begin?After talking with players and coaches, the best estimate is 2 weeks. This would be the barest of bare minimums. Its hardlyenough time to get a decent training camp plus say, 2 exhibition games. However I think all teams, under the same disadvantage,could launch after at least 14 official days together. 4. All those Sharks headed overseas... how fast can they come back?Instantly. The Sharks lead the NHL in players headed to EuropeRussia... and those guys all have immediate "outs" in their contracts. Essentially Joe Thornton, Logan Couture and friends... could all be on the next flight back to California. Foreign teams understand they are truly borrowing NHL players.
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5. Are players headed overseas just to make money?Absolutely not. In fact, between paying hefty foreign taxes, and funding their own insurance policies... players are likely to pay a large portion of the earnings they make. Players are doing this primarily to keep their routines in order, their skills sharp, and their competitive edge intact. Although I know some of the Sharks will enjoy their overseas life experience, their travels are hardly vacation-status.6. What would a condensed season look like?It will be ugly. It will be difficult on the players. Look at what the NBA did last season, slamming in 66 games across a matter of 4 months.Often, teams played 3 nights in a row. No offense to the association but Im not sure how hockey bodies would fare in thatextent given their greater physical exertion. Possibilities to ease the workload could include expanding rosters, or even increasing the amount of players that can dress on a given night. Regardless, I'm of the opinion a shortened season should contain no less than 50 games. In 1994-95, the schedule was cut to 48, but I think with anything fewer, the integrity of resultsplayoffs begin to be compromised and questioned.7. When would the regular season schedule get tossed?We already know that the first 3 preseason games for San Jose have been cancelled. It's my best guess that somewhere betweenthe 27th and the 29th, the regular season schedule has to be voided. Going back to that 2 week minimum-camp theory,it's easy to look at the NHL's scheduled "Opening Night" of October 11th, and do the math backwards.RELATED: Sharks owners release letter to fans concerning lockout
8. What again... is the main sticking point with negotiations?Money, of course. The NHL has grown to a 3.3 billion dollar per year business. However while some teams are thriving financially, others are hurting dearly. It's between the players and owners to divvy up that hypothetical pot of "Hockey Related Revenue" and keep everyone afloat. Conflicting numbers and percentages have been thrown back and forth, but the general assumption is that the gap in negotiations is currently between 500 million and 1 billion. 9. What can the optimistic fan do, in the mean time?Stay hopeful, updated, and most importantly: civil. The one thing players and owners agree on, is that the fan is losing out greatly for every missed NHL game. My suggestion... find classy, thoughtful, and impactful ways to make your voice heard. The situation can not be controlled, but your actions can. Support the inaugural season of the San Francisco Bulls (Sharks new ECHL affiliate). Support the San Jose State men's hockey team. And if you're in the greater Eastern Seaboard... support the Worcester Sharks (San Jose's AHL affiliate). If you truly love the game, don't let the disgruntled fanbase take a step backwards.RELATED: NHL deputy commissioner Daly says revenue split doesn't work
10. What will you do until there's a season?Thanks for asking! I am employed full-time by Comcast SportsNet and fortunately this lockout does not affect that one bit. Although it won't be my preferred assignment of covering the Sharks, they will inevitably keep me very busy reporting on stories or hosting studio shows. I will clearly miss working with Randy, Drew, Bakes, Heddy, Curtis, and Males... but do know that whenever the NHL is back, CSN will be ready, with bold plans for hockey season.

Sharks' Vlasic joins Canada for World Championships

Sharks' Vlasic joins Canada for World Championships

Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic will compete in the upcoming IIHF World Championships for Team Canada, it was announced on Friday.

The tournament runs from May 5-21 in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany. 

Vlasic, 30, a native of Montreal, has played in the tournament twice before in 2009 and 2012. He also represented Canada in the 2014 Olympic Games, helping it to a gold medal, and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which Canada also captured.

In 75 games with the Sharks this season, Vlasic posted 28 points (6g, 22a) and a +4 rating. He was second on the team in shorthanded time on ice (2:04 per game) and blocked shots (146).

A pending restricted free agent in 2018, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson called getting Vlasic signed to a long-term deal an offseason priority for the club. The two sides can begin negotiations on July 1.

“Vlasic [is] arguably one of the best defensemen in the league,” Wilson said. “[He] is still one of the most underrated players in the league in the outside world.”

The Sharks lost in the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs to Edmonton, although Vlasic and partner Justin Braun helped to keep Connor McDavid in check at even strength. The league's leading scorer had just one even strength point in the six-game series, an empty net goal with less than one second left in Game 6.

Boedker tops list of disappointing Sharks depth forwards

Boedker tops list of disappointing Sharks depth forwards

SAN JOSE – The Sharks didn’t make any blockbuster moves last summer, content to make another run in 2016-17 with largely the same group that came within two wins of capturing the Stanley Cup.

They still acquired a notable player, though, when Mikkel Boedker was signed on July 1 to add an element that the Sharks knew they needed more of moving forward – speed. Boedker was expected to make the team faster, after the Sharks were exposed for not having enough of that against Pittsburgh in the NHL’s final round, as well as play in a top six role. 

At the time, it was hailed as a slick, under-the-radar move that wasn’t going to change the dynamic of the club but could help push it over the top.

When Boedker was a healthy scratch in games three and four of the first round against Edmonton, the evidence became clear, though, that this was a decision that fell flat on its face. 

Frankly, Boedker – who is signed for three more years with a $4 million salary cap hit – brings back visions of Sharks bust Marty Havlat. You know the skill is there, but the desire to use it on a nightly basis while showing any semblance of a battle level is lacking. 

Should the Sharks give Boedker another chance next season, or should they do everything in their power to try and move him? That’s a question that will likely be debated in the front office over the next several weeks.

On get-away day on Monday, indications were that the Sharks were planning on sticking with the 27-year-old, who finished with 26 points in the regular season (10g, 16a) and added one goal and one assist in four games in the playoffs.

“He has the things we’re looking for: his career scoring average, his speed, [penalty killing] ability,” general manager Doug Wilson said. “Did he meet the expectations that he had for himself [or] that we had for him? No. Can we get that out of him? Pete [DeBoer] believes we can.”

DeBoer has known Boedker since he played for him in 2007-08 in Kitchener (OHL). Despite scratching him in the playoffs, DeBoer said he saw “huge improvement” in Boedker throughout the course of the season after the forward spent nearly all of his NHL career in Arizona.

“There was an adjustment. He’s played 6-7 years a certain way in the NHL,” DeBoer said. “We’ve asked him to play differently here, and there was an adjustment.”

Boedker still believes that he can be a fit in San Jose.

“I think it will be and it can be,” he said. “It’s learning period, but you’ve also got to look in the mirror yourself and see what you can change and what assets you need to bring. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m ready to do that.”

The list of Sharks depth forwads that had frustrating seasons hardly begins and ends with Boedker, though.

Veteran Joel Ward’s production dipped from 43 points last season to 29 in 2016-17, although that probably isn’t too surprising considering he’s 36. Tomas Hertl is proving to be a streaky player, too, although his season was interrupted by another a knee injury.

The bigger disappointment came from players like Chris Tierney and Joonas Donskoi, who both made big impressions in the 2016 playoffs but struggled to produce consistent offense this year. Both were mentioned by name by DeBoer on Monday.

There are some promising youngsters in the pipeline like Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Marcus Sorensen, but it’s still too early to project any of them as can’t-miss scorers at the NHL level.

“I think we’ve got a large group of guys that I like, but need to step up,” DeBoer said. “Is Sorensen [like] Donskoi next year, where he takes a step back, or [does he take a] step forward? We’ve got a lot of guys that there’s a lot of potential there – Chris Tierney. 

“There’s a lot of those guys, but they need to have big summers and take a step, and show that they’re not just one season or one month players.”