Returns to forget for Braun, McLaren


Returns to forget for Braun, McLaren

LOS ANGELES Mondays 2-0 Sharks loss in Los Angeles featured the return of two players to the active lineup Justin Braun, who hadnt played since Nov. 20 in Dallas, and Frazer McLaren, who was seeing his first NHL action in over a year.

Neither of them will mark the date down as one to remember.

Braun was especially noticeable, and not in a good way. His turnover in the defensive zone led directly to the Kings first goal, even though Niemi should have harmlessly swatted the shot away. Braun appeared to be looking to leave the puck for a teammate in the corner, but instead Los Angeles Ethan Moreau was the only player in the same zip code. He threw it on net and was fortunate when Niemi allowed it to deflect off of his glove for Moreaus first goal in 59 games.

In the third period, Braun was the happiest guy inside Staples Center when an apparent marker by Dustin Brown was questionably waved off. The Kings captain skated the puck into the offensive zone where he spotted Braun, directly in front of him. Brown made a dazzling, highlight-reel move around Braun in the faceoff circle, though, and found Slava Voynov alone in front of the net.

Niemi made a pair of impressive pad stops on Voynov, but Brown swooped in and appeared to knock the third rebound into the net. It was ruled a goal on the ice, but a lengthy video review determined that Voynov actually kicked the puck into the net even though it may have hit the heel of Browns stick as he was swiping at it underneath Voynovs skate.

Kings coach Terry Murray questioned the ruling.

Thats a call, that in my opinion should have gone the other way, because it was called a goal on the ice by the official, he said. The explanation then to me was that it was inconclusive by the video replay judge as to whether it was kicked or a stick. But, actually, it is a goal by that explanation, it has to be conclusive that it is kicked. The video was inconclusive, so it should have been a goal.

Of course, it didnt matter in the end, as the Sharks were unable to solve Quick and lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since Oct. 15-17.

Braun was playing for just the second time in the last six games, after it appeared he was just starting to get comfortable, playing five straight from Nov 3 to Nov. 12. He was removed from the lineup at that time in favor of Jason Demers, who was scratched against the Kings.

McLaren was in a much different situation than Braun, as the big winger had just returned from a conditioning assignment from Worcester after offseason hip surgery. He only played because Michal Handzus was out sick, forcing McLellan to make some lineup changes.

He played just 4:35, which isnt surprising, when you consider his role, the fact that it was his season debut, and that the Sharks were trailing for most of the game.

In that time, though, McLaren did take an avoidable penalty. At 16:06 of the first period, Quick froze a loose puck just outside the crease. McLaren came barreling in and gave the Kings goalie a snow shower well after the whistle, earning an unsportsmanlike conduct minor. The Kings failed to capitalize on the ensuing power play.

If anything, McLaren now has a point of reference in which to build upon. Todd McLellan seems like hes willing to let McLaren work his way back to game speed.

The guys trust him, we trust him, said the coach on Saturday. His injury really set him back and hes worked hard since training camp, and actual hockey, on-ice stuff in the last month to six weeks.

Sharks, Robinson parting ways after five seasons

Sharks, Robinson parting ways after five seasons

After five seasons with the Sharks, Larry Robinson is leaving the organization.

Robinson, 65, spent the last three seasons as the club's director of player development. He served as an associate coach from 2012-14.

TSN in Montreal and the Montreal Gazette originally reported the news. The Sharks confirmed to NBC Sports California that Robinson's contract will be expiring.

According to the Gazette

Robinson’s contract with the Sharks expires on July 1, but agent Donnie Cape said Thursday that San Jose general manager Doug Wilson has given him permission to speak with other teams. Robinson lives in Bradenton, Fla., and the long travel distance to San Jose is one of big the reasons he’s looking for a new team to work for.

Robinson seemed to ponder retirement in 2014, but signed a three-year extension to remain in the Sharks' front office. He worked mostly from his home in Florida the past two seasons, making occasional trips to San Jose, including during training camp.

In the summer of 2015, Robinson underwent surgery for skin cancer.

Recognized as one of the best defensemen in NHL history, Robinson won six Stanley Cup championships with the Montreal Canadiens as a player, and holds the NHL record for playing 20 straight seasons in the playoffs. A 10-time All-Star and two-time Norris Trophy winner, Robinson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995.

Robinson was the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings from 1995-99, and the New Jersey Devils from 1999-2002 and again in 2005-06. He led the Devils to the Stanley Cup in 2000. Robinson has nine Stanley Cup rings as a player and coach.

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The Sharks did not renew the contract of pro scout Jason Rowe, who had been with the organization for the past nine seasons. Rowe focused on eastern NHL and AHL teams.

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

The Sharks officially announced the signing of defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract on Tuesday, as well as Swedish forward Filip Sandberg to a two-year contract.

Simek’s deal was reported on Monday and confirmed by NBC Sports California. The contract is valued at $925,000 for the 2017-18 season, a source confirmed. The 24-year-old defenseman spent the past five seasons in the Czech league, posting 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating last season. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHL website.

In 211 career games in the Czech league, he posted 91 points (37g, 54a) and a plus-51 rating.

"Radim is a quick transition defenseman who drives the play offensively and plays with a physical edge," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We like his offensive instincts especially on special teams and think his game will translate well in North America."

Sandberg, 22, has 71 points (25g, 46a) in 204 career games in the Swedish league. Last season, he posted 25 points (8g, 17a) and a plus-17 rating in 52 games.

Sandberg is set to make $742,500 in 2017-18 and $792,500 in 2018-19, a source confirmed.

The five-foot-nine, 180-pound Stockholm native also competed in the World Jr. Championships in 2013 and 2014, helping Sweden win silver both years.

"Filip is a very creative player who sees the ice well and can create offense in limited space," Wilson said. "He plays a high-pressure, puck-pursuit game and his battle level is something we have been impressed with, especially against older players. We are excited for him to join our organization."

The contracts for Simek and Forsberg are two-way deals, allowing them to play for the AHL Barracuda next season.