Thornton and Couture talk 'leadership by committee'
Matt Pelech had three goals, four assists and 238 penalty minutes with the Sharks' AHL affiliate in Worcester last season. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
SAN JOSE – The Sharks made a change to their roster the day before the season opener, as Matt Pelech, 26, was recalled from San Francisco (ECHL) and rookie Freddie Hamilton was reassigned to Worcester (AHL) on Wednesday.
Pelech will play on the fourth line wing with Andrew Desjardins and James Sheppard when the Sharks host the Canucks on Thursday night.
Todd McLellan explained the move, suggesting the 21-year-old Hamilton could still make his NHL debut shortly.
“We think that 22nd or 23rd roster spot is going to be a very fluid spot to begin with for a little while, depending on the ingredients that we need on any given night,” McLellan said. “We’ll start one way, and we could change it immediately against Phoenix the following two nights. This is the way we’ve chosen to start, and away we go.”
Adam Burish (lower body) is day-to-day and will not play against Vancouver. He has not skated since the Sharks’ first preseason game on Sep. 16.
The six-foot-four, 230-pound Pelech will add a “tough guy” element to the Sharks’ roster against the Canucks, who could dress both Tom Sestito and Dale Weise. In 58 games with Worcester last season, Pelech had three goals, four assists and 238 penalty minutes. In seven career NHL games, including two last season with San Jose, Pelech has three assists and 16 penalty minutes.
The nephew of Canucks general manager Mike Gillis, Pelech would like to contribute more to the team than just his fists. He was pleased with his training camp.
“I really tried to focus on playing more than all the physical parts and the fighting,” he said. “I just wanted to show that I can play up here, I’m not a liability, I’m safe, and I can create the odd scoring chance and play plus hockey. I think I did that.”
In four preseason games, Pelech had one assist and 14 penalty minutes, including a fight with Sestito.