After what has been a very long and often tedious summer break, it’s finally time for the San Jose Sharks to buckle down and get back to work.
Here are a few notes for this final day before training camp opens.
Braun Contract Extension
It wasn’t a surprise when the team announced Wednesday that Justin Braun had been signed to a contract extension; reports that a deal was in the works were made earlier in the offseason. But that doesn’t take away from the positivity behind the defenseman’s five-year extension worth $19 million.
The Sharks are probably looking at more than just Braun’s stats from last season: They’re hoping the 27-year-old will step into a leadership position, a topic that is still of heavy discussion as the hours wind down until the opening of training camp.
In the team’s release Wednesday, GM Doug Wilson said that Braun “has emerged as one of our most well-rounded and dependable defensemen” who has “just scratched the surface of his talent” and “fits in well with our core group of young players.” Sounds a lot like No.61 is one of the guys that San Jose will be looking to to step up and take the reigns of the belittled team.
Braun set career highs with San Jose last season with 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) and tied a franchise record with eight blocked shots on November 29 against the St. Louis Blues. He ranked second on the team in average ice time per game (20:59) and was one of four Sharks to play in all 82 games.
Sierra LaMar Fundraiser A Success
Members of the hockey franchise got their do-gooder on Wednesday night, raising funds towards the on-going search effort for missing South Bay teenager Sierra LaMar.
Forward Logan Couture organized the team autograph signing at Britton Middle School in Morgan Hill, which reportedly raised over $11,000. Couture took to Twitter following the event to show his appreciation for all those who contributed:
“A massive thanks to everyone that showed up tonight. Incredible support from Sharks fans. Very humbled to be part of such an amazing event.”
Team Teal nipped and tucked their roster down to 51 players on Thursday, a little less than 24 hours before the opening of big league camp down in San Jose.
Five players were reassigned to their respective junior clubs: Forwards Rourke Chartier, Kevin Labanc, Dylan Sadowy and Alex Schoenborn, and defenseman Alexis Vanier. All were selected by San Jose in the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia.
The Sharks also assigned six players to the team’s AHL camp in Worcester: Forwards Chris Crane, Jeremy Langlois and John MacInnis, and defensemen Kyle Bigos, Brenden Ellis and Nick Jones.
The Sharks preseason kicks off with the opening of training camp on Friday, September 19, at Sharks Ice. They start preseason play Tuesday, September 23, with split squad play with the Vancouver Canucks; the “home game” for that night will take place at the Stockton Arena.