Sharks pay tribute to fallen Russian team

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Sharks pay tribute to fallen Russian team

SAN JOSE - The tragic, fatal plane crash involving the Russian hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in early September shook the hockey world, but affected Sharks center Michal Handzus more than most.

Handzus and former NHL player Pavol Demitra were not just countrymen, but former teammates in St. Louis for three years and very close friends who served in each others weddings. Demitra was the most recognizable NHL name among the fallen, which also included Sharks prospect Daniil Sobchenko.

The Sharks are paying tribute to the Lokomotiv team with a special decal on their helmets.

A bunch of the guys played with a bunch of the guys on the plane, so its just to kind of commemorate that friendship and that we still think of them, said Joe Thornton.

Thornton said Handzus, who attended Demitras funeral in their native Slovakia, came up with the idea.

All of the guys said, yeah, weve got to put something on there, said Thornton. Handzus was good friends with Pavol and its good for the rest of the team to support Zeus in this time.

I think its great. Its a big tragedy and obviously there was one player here from this organization, so its really nice that everybody can recognize that, said Handzus.

Sharks recall trio as bye week concludes

Sharks recall trio as bye week concludes

VANCOUVER – Kevin Labanc, Barclay Goodrow and Tim Heed have accompanied the Sharks to Vancouver, and will presumably be available to play against the Canucks on Saturday in the first game after the bye week.

Forwards Timo Meier, Nikolay Goldobin and Marcus Sorensen, all of whom have played games with the NHL club this season, remain with the AHL Barracuda for the time being.

Labanc, 21, has 18 points (7g, 11a) in 45 games this season. Lately he has been skating as the left wing on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, and is looking to snap a 21-game goal drought.

Goodrow, 23, has played one game with the Sharks this season, going scoreless on Jan. 24 at Winnipeg. Unless the Sharks recall someone else before their game with the Canucks, Goodrow will likely play his second game as the team is carrying just 12 healthy forwards as of Friday afternoon. Joonas Donskoi did not accompany the Sharks to Vancouver, and remains day-to-day with what the club is offically calling an upper body injury but appears to be a right shoulder.

Heed, likely the seventh defenseman in case of emergency, has also played one scoreless game on Jan. 11 at Calgary.

Dylan DeMelo made the trip, but is still not ready. The defenseman told CSN last week that he’s on schedule with an eight-week recovery from a broken right wrist that would put his return around early March.

Canucks battling mumps ahead of meeting with Sharks

Canucks battling mumps ahead of meeting with Sharks

Several Vancouver Canucks are battling an outbreak of the mumps ahead of a game on Saturday with the Sharks at Rogers Arena.

At least five players are expected to miss the game. Troy Stecher is the only player with a confirmed test result, general manager Jim Benning said in a statement, but Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund “have each presented symptoms.”

Players with symptoms are “immediately being tested and quarantined in isolation for a five-day period from the onset of symptoms or until test results prove negative.”

Vancouver Coastal Health authorities were on hand at Rogers Arena on Friday to screen players and staff, and issue immunizations if necessary.

The Sharks and Canucks will both be coming off of their bye week when they play for the second of five times this season.