Nyjer Morgan skates with Sharks Wednesday

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Nyjer Morgan skates with Sharks Wednesday

SAN JOSE It was difficult to determine who was having more fun when Bay Area native and current Milwaukee Brewers centerfielder Nyjer Morgan laced up his skates and joined the Sharks for a portion of their practice on Wednesday morning.

Morgan was clearly having a blast while taking a few shootout attempts on Thomas Greiss, while the Sharks, still glowing from a 6-0 victory over Columbus the night before, were laughing and enjoying one of the more colorful personalities in professional sports hanging out with them for the day.

Would Morgan, a former Western Hockey League player who grew up a Sharks fan while living in East San Jose, be a good addition to the team?

Hes very charismatic, very bubbly, and I think hed fit in great with us, Joe Thornton said.

Would we take Nyjer on our team? You know what, Ive seen his passion and his energy out on the ball field, and if that converts to anything on the ice we absolutely will, Todd McLellan said.

Morgan, who was wearing a black 2 Sharks jersey and named Owen Nolan as his favorite Shark while growing up, actually played seven games for the Regina Pats of the WHL in 1999-2000, scoring two goals and picking up 20 penalty minutes.

For him to ascend to those heights at the junior hockey level, he must have had some talent and some skill, McLellan said.

Morgan, 31, was asked what type of player he was, and what he could bring to the Sharks.

Make it happen, excitement, grind. Be on the third line and make it happen. Same as I am on the diamond. I do what I do. Crowd favorite, Morgan said.

Morgans skating was a bit shaky, but he did manage to convert on one of his four chances against Thomas Greiss, who, lets just say, may have eased up a bit on the final attempt.

He was giving me the stick side, but I saw that five-hole open up, so I had to go five-hole because he seemed pretty strong on that stick side, Morgan said with a smile.

Hes got the swagger, Ryane Clowe said. I liked how he jumped on the ice. He didnt put one foot forward to step on, he jumped on with a ton of confidence, and I liked that.

The timing was good, too. Whether Morgan was there or not on Wednesday, the Sharks were already going to be in a positive mood following their blowout victory on Tuesday night in their first game after the All-Star break.

We earned the opportunity to feel good about ourselves, first of all, with the win last night, McLellan said. To come to practice today and have him around, it lightened up the mood a little bit.

It worked out perfect, Clowe said. You had a big win and great game last night and then this today. Everyone is in a good mood and everyone is loose. Its good. For us, we love it.

T-Plush, as Morgan calls himself, is coming off a career season in which he hit .304. His campaign was punctuated with a dramatic 10th inning walk-off, series-clinching hit in Game 5 of the National League Division Series against Arizona giving the Brewers their first playoff series win since 1982.

Sharks trade Tommy Wingels to Senators

Sharks trade Tommy Wingels to Senators

Tommy Wingels has been traded to the Ottawa Senators for a pair of depth forwards and a seventh round draft pick in 2017, the Sharks announced on Tuesday.

Buddy Robinson and Zack Stortini, both right wings, will be assigned to the AHL Barracuda.

Robinson, 25, has 12 points (7g, 5a) in 33 AHL games with Binghamton. In seven career NHL games with Ottawa, the six-foot-six, 230-pound New Jersey native has one goal and one assist.

Stortini, 31, has three points (2g, 1a) in 22 games for Binghamton this season. The six-foot-two, 220-pound Ontario native has appeared in 257 career NHL games with Edmonton and Nashville, posting 41 points (14g, 27a) and 718 penalty minutes.

The move clears the way for the Sharks to activate injured forward Tomas Hertl, who is day-to-day with a right knee injury that required surgery in mid-November.

According to a source, there is a very good chance Hertl returns to the Sharks on Thursday against the Oilers.

San Jose will retain 30 percent of Wingels’ $2.475 million salary, according to the Senators, which comes out to $742,500.

Wingels, 28, posted 122 points (51g, 71a) and 197 penalty minutes in 337 career games with San Jose over parts of seven seasons. He was originally drafted by the Sharks in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

He is the second player that has essentially been pushed off of the Sharks’ roster as they incorporate younger players like Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier into the fold. Matt Nieto was waived in early January, and claimed by the Avalanche on Jan. 5.

"Tommy has been a valuable member of our franchise for many years, a phenomenal teammate and a true role model on and off the ice for our organization and the NHL," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "As a team evolves and younger players push for roster spots, unfortunately tough decisions have to be made. We wish Tommy and his wife, Molly, nothing but success in the future.

"We also want to welcome Buddy and Zach to our organization. They add size and depth to our reserve list and we look forward to having them in San Jose.”

NHL Gameday: Streaking Sharks roll into Winnipeg, can reclaim first place

NHL Gameday: Streaking Sharks roll into Winnipeg, can reclaim first place

Programming note – Sharks-Jets coverage starts today at 4:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 30-16-2, 62 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Jets: 22-24-4, 48 points, 5th Central Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The Sharks won their fifth straight game on Monday in Colorado, 5-2, thanks to four goals from Patrick Marleau. San Jose is 7-2-0 overall in its last nine games, and can move back into first place in the Pacific Division ahead of idle Anaheim with a win tonight.

Winnipeg will also be playing the second of a back-to-back, after dropping a 3-2 decision to the Ducks at home on Monday. The Jets are 2-4-1 in their last seven, including a 5-2 loss to the Sharks at SAP Center on Jan. 16.

***Winnipeg should be getting impressive rookie Patrik Laine back for the game, according to local reports. He’s missed the last eight games with a concussion suffered on Jan. 7. The 18-year-old Calder Trophy candidate has 21 goals and 37 points in 42 games.

San Jose could be without Joonas Donskoi, after the winger was unable to finish the game against Colorado after taking a heavy hit from Andreas Martinsen in the first period.

***Brent Burns scored another goal last night, reaching 20 on the season. He’s the fastest defenseman to reach that mark since Kevin Hatcher in 1992-93. In his last 10 games, the Norris Trophy favorite has 15 points (5g, 10a).

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Patrick Marleau. It was a historic night on Monday for the Sharks’ all-time leading scorer, as he became the first NHL player in nearly 20 years to score four goals in a single period. He struck for three in a row to start the final frame, upping the San Jose lead to 4-1, and capped it off with a late breakaway conversion. His 16 goals suddenly puts him in a tie with Joe Pavelski for second on the team.

Jets: Mark Scheifele. The 23-year-old center is Winnipeg’s leading scorer with 46 points (21g, 25a), and he brings a five-game point streak into tonight’s game (2g, 5a). He had a late goal against San Jose on Jan. 16 (thanks to Martin Jones’ ill-advised decision to try and shoot the puck into an open net), as well as an assist on an early score by Josh Morrissey.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Melker Karlsson – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Kevin Labanc – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Timo Meier – Ryan Carpenter – Barclay Goodrow

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones
Aaron Dell

Jets
Nic Petan – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers – Mark Scheifele – Patrik Laine
Shawn Matthias – Adam Lowry – Joel Armia
Brandon Tanev – Andrew Copp – Chris Thorburn

Josh Morrissey – Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom – Jacob Trouba
Mark Stuart – Paul Postma

Ondrej Pavalec
Connor Hellebuyck

INJURIES

Sharks: Joonas Donskoi (upper body) is questionable. Micheal Haley (lower body), Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist) and Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) are out.

Jets: Patrik Laine (concussion) and Drew Stafford (lower body) are day-to-day. Tyler Myers (lower body), Marko Dano (lower body), and Ben Chiarot (lower body) are out.

QUOTEABLE

“For a while there we were up and down, winning some games, losing some games. Now we’re putting some wins together and separating ourselves from the teams behind us.” – Marc-Edouard Vlasic