Sharks

Michael Grabner could be a dream Shark

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Michael Grabner could be a dream Shark

It's an annual tradition that every July: Sharks fans turn into agents and general managers. With players wheeling from deal-to-deal as teams try to snap up effective free agents, there is certainly ample room for speculating and imagining that one perfect trade for that one perfect player.

With a Rick Nash deal reportedly sitting on the table, there may be a bright, shiny new prospect waiting in the wings: Michael Grabner.

The 24-year-old right winger shot out of the gate in New York, scoring 34 goals his first season with the Islanders in 2010. Add that to 18 assists and Grabner has numbers on par with Logan Coutures rookie season with the Sharks, where he put up 34 goals and 24 assists, and both players were the subject of Calder Trophy whispers.

Its true what they say about sophomore slumps, however, with Grabner only scoring 20 goals in the 2011-2012 season. His assists dropped by six as well to bring his final total to 12 for the season. Despite the setback, SB Nation has speculated that Grabner would hypothetically fit right in in San Jose, with his speed and stick pairing on Marleaus second line, freeing Couture up for the (hypothetical) first line.

Grabner has four years at 3 million each left in New York, and every time a team giveth, they must also taketh away. Ryane Clowe has one year left in San Jose at 3.625 million, leading to speculation that he would be the potential bargaining chip for Grabner, should the dream ever become a reality.

For the record, San Jose and New York have not spoken about acquiring Grabner, so it remains unlikely that well see the young winger in teal.

Could you imagine Grabner as a Shark?

Sharks start training camp with familiar face elsewhere: ‘It’s kind of strange’

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AP

Sharks start training camp with familiar face elsewhere: ‘It’s kind of strange’

SAN JOSE — There was something familiar missing in San Jose when the Sharks opened training camp.

For the first time since 1996, the Sharks took the ice for their first training camp practice without Patrick Marleau on the team as the franchise's career leader in games and scoring left as a free agent for Toronto this summer.

"I've spent a lot of years with him. It is kind of strange," said Joe Thornton, who came to San Jose in 2005. "It's his birthday today too. It's a little weird, but he's going to do great up in Toronto."

Marleau had been with San Jose since being picked second overall in 1997 but left the Sharks to sign an $18.75 million, three-year deal with the Maple Leafs in July.

Marleau has 508 goals and 574 assists for 1,082 points. He had 46 points in playing all 82 games last season as he rebounded from a disappointing 2015-16 season by scoring 27 goals, including the 500th of his career. He ranks first in San Jose in career goals, games and points.

Only six players in NHL history have played more games with one team than Marleau's 1,493 in San Jose. The Sharks haven't played a game without him on the ice since April 7, 2009.

"Obviously Patty has meant so much to this organization and this group," captain Joe Pavelski said. "Everyone in this room has pretty much played with him and Patty has done something to help them out. He'll be missed. ... Just by committee somebody will step in and fill that kind of hole. That's what we'll need."

The Sharks made no major additions this offseason so will need to replace Marleau's 27 goals by getting development from younger players like Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Danny O'Regan, as well as bounce-back seasons from veterans like Thornton, Mikkel Boedker and Joonas Donskoi.

Only Pavelski, Logan Couture and Brent Burns are back after scoring more than 12 goals last season.

"When I look back at last year we had key people either have down years or miss significant time with injuries or coming off injuries," coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think if we can stay healthy I think we've got a large group of guys that can really take a step this year and I expect a step out of them."

While the Sharks lost Marleau in free agency, they did manage to keep Thornton by giving him a one-year, $8 million contract despite dwindling production last season and offseason knee surgery.

He scored just seven goals — his fewest in an 82-game season since his rookie year in 1997-98 — and was a key part of a power-play unit that uncharacteristically struggled last season. But he still managed 43 assists, teaming with captain Joe Pavelski on San Jose's top line.

Thornton missed the final week of the regular season and the first two playoff games with a left knee injury before returning for the final four games of a first-round loss to Edmonton. Thornton then underwent surgery to repair his MCL and ACL after the season but was back skating in August and started ramping it up for training camp two weeks ago. Thornton believes the lower-body work he did in rehab this offseason will pay dividends on the ice.

"They feel real strong," he said of his legs. "I feel a lot of pop out there. They're probably as strong as they've ever been just because I had to rehab that knee so much."

Sharks Media Day highlights: Beards, smiles & cup checks

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Sharks Media Day highlights: Beards, smiles & cup checks

The boys were back together in San Jose on Thursday for Sharks Media Day, with plenty of smiles and moments of levity. Check out the highlights...

Hey Jumbo, you dropped something. 👖🤷‍♂️

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Martin Jones is pretty good at photobombs 📸💣

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🤳 Media Day #SJSharks

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New season. New commercials. 🕉🚌📺 #ComingSoon #SharksForLife

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