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The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team based in San Josemarker, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They play their home games at the HP Pavilion at San Josemarker (also known as The Shark Tank).

Franchise history

Bringing hockey back to the Bay Area

The Oakland Coliseum Arenamarker was home to the California Golden Seals of the NHL from 1967-1976. Gordon and George Gund, who ended up moving that team to Cleveland and eventually merging it with the Minnesota North Stars, had long wanted to bring hockey back to the Bay Area and asked the NHL for permission to move the North Stars there in the late 1980s, but the league vetoed them. Meanwhile, a group led by former Hartford Whalers owner Howard Baldwin was pushing the NHL to bring a team to San Josemarker, where a new arena was being built. Eventually the league struck a compromise: the Gunds would sell their share of the North Stars to Baldwin's group, with the Gunds receiving an expansion team in the Bay Area to begin play in the 1991–92 season and being allowed to take a certain number of players from the North Stars to their new club. In return, the North Stars would be allowed to participate as an equal partner in an expansion draft with the new Bay Area team.

On May 5, 1990, the Gunds officially sold their share of the North Stars to Baldwin and were awarded a new team for the Bay Area, based in San Jose. Over 5,000 potential names were submitted by mail for the new team. While the first-place finisher was "Blades," the Gunds were concerned about the name's potentially negative association with weapons, and went with the runner-up, "Sharks." The name was said to have been inspired by the large number of sharks living in the Pacific Oceanmarker. Seven different varieties live there, and one area of water near the Bay Area is known as the "red triangle" because of its shark population. The team's first marketing head, Matt Levine, said of the new name, "Sharks are relentless, determined, swift, agile, bright and fearless. We plan to build an organization that has all those qualities."

San Jose's first logo (1991-2007).

Cow Palace years (1991–93)

For their first two seasons, the Sharks played at the Cow Palacemarker in Daly Citymarker, just outside San Franciscomarker, a facility that the NHL and the Seals had rejected in 1967. Pat Falloon was their first draft choice, and led the team in points during their first season. George Kingston was their first coach during their first two seasons. Though the 1991–92 roster consisted primarily of NHL journeymen, minor leaguers, and rookies, the Sharks had at least one notable player when they acquired 14-year veteran and former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Doug Wilson from the Chicago Blackhawks on September 6, 1991. Wilson was named the team's first captain and All-Star representative in the inaugural season. The Sharks, however, were one of the worst teams in the NHL their first two seasons – the 71 losses in 1992–93 is an NHL record, and they also suffered a 17-game losing streak, while winning just 11 games and earning a mere 24 points in the standings. Kingston was fired following the end of the 1992–93 season.

Despite the Sharks futility in the standings, several team "firsts" happened in the 1992–93 season. On November 17, 1992, San Jose goaltender Arturs Irbe recorded the first shutout in team history, stoning the Los Angeles Kings 6-0. On December 3 against the Hartford Whalers at the Cow Palacemarker, right winger Rob Gaudreau scored the first hat trick in franchise history; he also scored the team's second ever hat trick nine days later against the Quebec Nordiques. Gaudreau's prolific scoring earned the Sharks their first ever league-wide award as the NHL's Rookie of the Month for having scored 14 goals and 5 assists for 19 points during the month of December, 1992.

Sharkie, the Sharks' mascot, made his debut during the 1991–92 season.
early era also saw the birth of the San Jose Sharks long-time mascot, S. J. Sharkie. On January 28, 1992 at a game vs. the New York Rangers, the then-unnamed mascot emerged from a Zamboni during an intermission. A "Name the Mascot" contest began that night, with the winning name of "S. J. Sharkie" being announced on April 15, 1992.

Early success and rebuilding (1993–97)

For their third season, 1993–94, the Sharks moved to their current home, the San Jose Arena (now the HP Pavilion at San Josemarker). Under head coach Kevin Constantine, the Sharks pulled off one of the biggest turnarounds in NHL history, finishing with a 33-35-16 record, making the playoffs with 82 points — a 58-point jump from the previous season. They were seeded eighth in the Western Conference playoffs and faced the Detroit Red Wings, one of the favorites in the Western Conference to win the Stanley Cup. However, in one of the biggest upsets in Stanley Cup playoff history, the underdog Sharks shocked the Red Wings in seven games. In Game 7 at Joe Louis Arenamarker, Jamie Baker scored the game-winning goal in the 3rd period and the Sharks won 3-2. In the second round, the Sharks had a 3-2 lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs but lost the final two games in Torontomarker, including an overtime loss in Game 6 where, moments before Toronto's decisive goal, Johan Garpenlov's shot rang off the Toronto crossbar.

In 1994–95, the Sharks returned to the playoffs and again reached the second round. Ray Whitney scored a goal in double overtime of Game 7 of the Conference Quarterfinals against the Calgary Flames. Key Sharks players were goalie Arturs Irbe, defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh and forwards Igor Larionov and Sergei Makarov. The 1995 season also saw the only rainout in the history of the NHL, when the Guadalupe Rivermarker flooded its banks in March 1995, making it impossible for anyone to get into the San Jose Arena for a game between the Sharks and the Red Wings.

In 1995–96, the Sharks finished last in the Pacific Division and failed to make the playoffs. The team also underwent major changes: during the season they traded Ozolinsh and Larionov; Irbe, who had suffered an off-ice injury, was released at the end of the season. The team began rebuilding, acquiring forward Owen Nolan from the Colorado Avalanche, as well as several other players. Constantine was fired midway through the season and replaced by interim coach Jim Wiley. The next season was no better under Al Sims, with the Sharks again finishing last and winning only 27 games. Their standing would help them draft Patrick Marleau (no.2 overall) in the 1997 NHL entry draft.

Darryl Sutter years (1997–2002)

The Sharks returned to the playoffs in 1997–98, with goalie Mike Vernon, whom they acquired from the Red Wings (the season after Vernon won the Conn Smythe Trophy), and new head coach Darryl Sutter. For the next two years, the Sharks made the playoffs, yet never advanced past the first round. In 1998 they lost to the Stars in six games. In 1999 the Sharks fell to the Avalanche in six games. That year, San Jose acquired former Toronto and Montreal star Vincent Damphousse in exchange for draft picks with future considerations. When Damphousse, a pending free agent, re-signed with San Jose in the offseason, the considerations were triggered and picks became a fifth-round pick in the 1999 NHL entry draft and a first-round pick in the 2000 NHL entry draft.

San Jose's luck changed in the 1999–2000 season, when the Sharks finished with their first-ever winning record. Unfortunately, they earned a match-up against the Presidents' Trophy champion St. Louis Blues in the first round. However, in an upset on par with the one they had pulled on Detroitmarker six years earlier, the Sharks managed to eliminate the Blues in the full seven games. During the series, Blues's star Chris Pronger became a target of Sharks fans' booes, starting a mutually antagonistical relationship that results in boos and shouts of his name whenever Pronger visits the San Jose arena. Despite the victory, San Jose managed to last only five more games before being eliminated by the Dallas Stars that year.

In 2000–01, Kazakhmarker goalie Evgeni Nabokov won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's best rookie. The team also acquired Finnishmarker star forward Teemu Selanne from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for Jeff Friesen and Steve Shields. In the 2001 playoffs, the Blues downed the Sharks in six games in the first round, avenging the 2000 defeat to San Jose. The team's breakout year was 2001–02. Veteran Adam Graves was acquired for Mikael Samuelsson. The Sharks won their first Pacific Division title, and defeated the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round, but fell to the Colorado Avalanche in second.

Following the 2001–02 season, the Gunds sold the Sharks to a group of local investors headed by team president Greg Jamison. With starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov and shutdown defenseman Mike Rathje in contract disputes with the team and general manager Dean Lombardi, combined with the loss of Gary Suter by his retirement, the team got off to a terrible start. Kyle McLaren was acquired in a three-way trade with the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins, with checking-line winger Niklas Sundstrom and a third-round pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft going to Montreal, goaltedner Jeff Hackett and promising prospect Jeff Jillson going to Boston, and Mclaren and a fourth-round pick going to San Jose. Dan McGillis was acquired in exhange for long-time Shark Marcus Ragnarsson, but the team could not turn itself around. Sutter was fired and replaced by Ron Wilson midway through that season.

Ron Wilson years (2003–2008)

The Sharks' first alternate logo, showing a shark fin emerging from water (1991–2007)

Near the 2003 NHL trade deadline, captain and "face-of-the-franchise" Owen Nolan was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Brad Boyes, Alyn McCauley, and a first round pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, signaling a new era in Sharks history. In addition, the newly-acquired McGillis was traded to Boston for a second-round pick, Bryan Marchment went to Colorado for third- and fifth- round picks, and AHL star Shawn Heins, and forward Matt Bradley were moved to Pittsburgh for a conditional draft choice (9th round) and Wayne Primeau respectively.

Reportedly, due to having just acquired the team as well as the team's bad start, the ownership group wanted Lombardi to move high-priced players on the roster, including Selanne. Lombardi failed to do so (Selanne reportedly used his no-trade clause to negate a trade that would have sent him to New Jersey for Scott Gomez), and as a result, lost his job.

During that debacle year for San Jose, there were some bright spots. Jim Fahey led all rookie defensemen in points despite playing in only 43 games.

2003–04, under new general manager Doug Wilson and head coach Ron Wilson saw another turnaround for the team, resulting in the team's best season ever. An injection of youth, with players like Christian Ehrhoff and out-of-college signing Tom Preissing, and the influx of energy from Alexander Korolyuk jump-started San Jose. Wilson acquired Nils Ekman for AHL forward Chad Wiseman, and a line of Ekman, McCauley, and Korolyuk provided strong play for San Jose, with all three players enjoying career years. Midway through the season, key forward Marco Sturm suffered a broken leg/ankle injury. In response, San Jose acquired Curtis Brown in exchange for Jeff Jillson, re-acquired from Boston in exchange for the recently-acquired Brad Boyes.

They posted the third-best record in the league with a team-record 104 points (31 more than the previous season, and the first time the team had earned 100 points), won the Pacific Division championship, and were seeded second in the Western Conference.

In the playoffs, the Sharks defeated the St. Louis Blues 4 games to 1 in the conference quarterfinals and stopped the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 in the conference semifinals. The San Jose Sharks, for the first time, went to the conference finals. However, they fell to the Calgary Flames and ex-coach Sutter 4-2 in the conference finals with former Sharks goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff in net for the Flames. The Sharks lost all three games played in San Jose in that series. Kiprusoff was traded early in the season to the Flames for a second round pick (Marc-Edouard Vlasic was drafted for that second pick). During that season, San Jose, without a captain following Nolan's trade, utilized a rotating captaincy. When the job eventually fell to Patrick Marleau, next-in-line McCauley urged both Wilsons to allow Marleau to keep the captaincy. They did just that, and Marleau became the team's new captain.

During the offseason and the subsequent lockout, forward Vincent Damphousse announced his retirement.

The Sharks started the 2005–06 season slowly, dropping to last place in the Pacific Division. In the previous off-season, they didn't add any players from outside their own organization — the only team out of 30 not to do so. The team also lost Alexander Korolyuk, who decided to play in Russiamarker in the RSL instead of accepting his arbitrator-decided contract. After a 10-game losing streak, the Sharks traded Brad Stuart, Wayne Primeau and Marco Sturm to the Boston Bruins for star player Joe Thornton. The trade re-energized the team, and with excellent play by backup goaltender-turned starter Vesa Toskala, the Sharks rallied back from their early season slump to clinch the fifth seed in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, the Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators 4-1 in the conference quarterfinals before falling to the red-hot Edmonton Oilers 4-2 in the conference semifinals. The Sharks led the series against Edmonton 2-0 before losing four straight. Joe Thornton was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player, as well as the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in points, with a total of 125. Jonathan Cheechoo was awarded the Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy for scoring the most goals during the regular season, with a total of 56.

The Sharks celebrate a 4-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on December 11, 2006
The Sharks entered the 2006–07 season as the youngest team in average age, as well as the biggest team in average weight, and they raced out to a 20-7-0 start, the best in franchise history. Ron Wilson chose the uncommon strategy of alternating both Toskala and Nabokov every other game. In the beginning of the season, San Jose made an unusual trade with the New Jersey Devils, acquiring Vladimir Malakhov and a first-round draft pick for Jim Fahey and the rights to Korolyuk. Since Malakhov had essentially retired from the NHL, this trade essentially was San Jose getting a first-round pick in exchange for taking on Malakhov's cap hit. A concern made by fans and members of the media was the lack of a left winger to play on a line with the duo of Thornton and Cheechoo. Wilson seemingly addressed this issue by acquiring 25-yeard-old 20-goal-scorer Mark Bell from the Chicago in exchange for Tom Preissing and Josh Hennessy. Despite scoring a goal in his first two games with San Jose, Bell was widely considered a flop in San Jose. Off-ice issues, including being cited for drunk driving and an alleged hit-and-run contributed to his on-ice play. By the end of the season, Bell was consistently either a healthy scratch or a fourth-liner.

Two significant trades were made at the trade deadline for defenseman Craig Rivet and winger Bill Guerin, with a first-round pick departing San Jose in both cases. The trades coincided with Nabokov, playing full time while Toskala recovered from an injury, putting together a string of outstanding performances and earning the number one job. The Sharks finished the regular season with the best record in franchise history at 51-26-5. In the conference quarterfinals, the Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators for the second year in a row with the same 4-1 result. In the Western Conference semifinals, the Sharks faced the Detroit Red Wings. After taking a 2-1 series lead, they lost a pivotal game 4 when the Red Wings scored the tying goal with 33 seconds left and went on to win in overtime. The Sharks would go on to lose the next two games in a row, losing the series to Detroit 4-2.

In that offseason, San Jose lost defenseman Scott Hannan to the Colorado Avalanche but managed to re-sign pending free agent Rivet. They also added former USA star Jeremy Roenick to the roster. Roenick had considered retirement but decided to give it one last try with San Jose. San Jose effectively made Nabokov their number one goaltender by trading Toskala and Bell to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a first-, second-, and fourth-round pick in the 2007 draft.

Current Sharks alternate fin logo
In advance of the 2007–08 season, the Sharks updated their logos and jerseys to adjust to the new Rbk EDGE jersey.The Sharks rode on a very hot streak in the month of March. They were aided by the trade-deadline acquisition of Brian Campbell, for whom they gave up Steve Bernier and a first-round-pick in the 2008 draft. Going the entire month without a regulation loss, they captured their third division title with a franchise-record 108 points, second in the league to the Detroit Red Wings. San Jose started the playoffs beating the Calgary Flames 4 games to 3 in San Jose's first ever home Game 7 (with Roenick getting 2 goals in 2 assists in the final game), advancing to play the fifth seeded Dallas Stars in the second round. On Monday, April 21, goalie Evgeni Nabokov was named one of the three finalists for the Vezina trophy for the NHL's most valuable goaltender, losing to Martin Brodeur. San Jose eventually lost to Dallas 4-2 in the Western Conference Semifinals. Game 6 required four overtime periods, and was the longest game in the team's history.

The Ron Wilson era officially came to an end on Monday, May 12 when the Sharks fired Wilson, citing the Sharks' disappointing second round losses in the past three seasons. Wilson ended his tenure in San Jose with a overall record of 206-134-45 in 385 regular-season games and a 28-24 record in 52 postseason games. Wilson moved on to be hired as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs along with assistant coaches Tim Hunter and Rob Zettler, to make up the Toronto coaching staff.

Current Sharks Wordmark + Logo

Todd McLellan years (2008–present)

On June 11, 2008, the San Jose Sharks named former Detroit Red Wings assistant coach, Todd McLellan, as their new head coach for the 2008–09 season. Todd Richards, Trent Yawney, and Jay Woodcroft were named assistant coaches.

During the off season, San Jose's major headlines included signing defenseman Rob Blake, acquiring defensemen Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich for defenseman Matt Carle, defensive prospect Ty Wishart, a first round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and a fourth round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, as well as trading defenseman Craig Rivet to the Buffalo Sabres for a second round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and a second round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Midway through the season, San Jose added playoff warrior Claude Lemieux to their roster. Lemieux, 43 years old, was rejoining the NHL after a 5-year absence.

At the trade deadline, San Jose acquired checking-line winger Travis Moen and the injured defenseman Kent Huskins from Anaheim in exchange for goal tending prospect Timo Pielmeier, forward prospect Nick Bonino, and a conditional draft pick. The pick conditions were based on the advancement of the San Jose team and on the possibly of Moen and Huskins, both pending unrestricted free agents, signing with either Anaheim or San Jose. With Moen departing for the Montreal Canadiens during the off season and Huskins signing in San Jose, Anaheim will receive a fourth-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

The Sharks finished the regular season as President's Trophy champions with 53 wins and 117 points, both franchise records. Despite their successful regular season, the Sharks were eliminated by the eighth-seeded Anaheim Ducks in six games in the first round of the playoffs. The team was heavily criticized for once again failing to succeed in the postseason. General Manager Doug Wilson promised the team would undergo significant changes in the off season.

In the 2009 off season, the Wilson held to his word with many major moves. The first was Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich to the Vancouver Canucks for prospects Patrick White and Daniel Rahimi. It was widely believed that San Jose made this trade so it could free up salary cap space to make a second trade: long-tenured Shark Milan Michalek, fan favorite Jonathan Cheechoo, and a second round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft were sent to the Ottawa Senators for the unhappy Dany Heatley and a fifth round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Also, assistant coach Todd Richards left to become the head coach of the Minnesota Wild. Richards was replaced by Matt Shaw. Aside from the trades, several contracts were not renewed, including Mike Grier, Marcel Goc, Tomas Plihal, and Alexei Semenov.

San Jose also signed energetic forward Scott Nichol, and added grit to the team by signing Joe Callahan, Jed Ortmeyer, and Manny Malhotra. San Jose also signed Benn Ferriero, an unsigned 2007 draft pick of the Phoenix Coyotes. Jeremy Roenick and Claude Lemieux both announced their retirements.

Another major move by San Jose was stripping Marleau of the captaincy and giving it to the newly re-signed Rob Blake. Boyle and Thornton were named the assistants, though Marleau has worn an "A" when Blake, Thornton, and/or Boyle has been out.


The Sharks have kept the same pre-game celebration since they moved to HP Pavilion in 1993. At the beginning of each Sharks home game, a 17-foot open shark mouth is lowered from the rafters. As the mouth is lowered the eyes flash red and fog pours out. Then, a live view of the locker room tunnel with Sharks players is shown on the scoreboard and the goalie leads the team out of the locker room, through the mouth, and onto the ice.

Season-by-season record

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Sharks. For the full season-by-season history, see List of San Jose Sharks seasons

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Records as of May 5, 2009.

Season GP W L OTL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
2004–05 Season cancelled due to 2004–05 NHL lockout
2005–061 82 44 27 11 99 266 242 1058 2nd, Pacific Lost in Conference Semifinals, 2-4 (Oilers)
2006–07 82 51 26 5 107 258 199 939 2nd, Pacific Lost in Conference Semifinals, 2-4 (Red Wings)
2007–08 82 49 23 10 108 222 193 1061 1st, Pacific Lost in Conference Semifinals, 2-4 (Stars)
2008–09 82 53 18 11 117 257 204 1141 1st, Pacific Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2-4 (Ducks)

Current roster

Team captains

Hall of Famers

First-round draft picks

Franchise scoring leaders

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game

Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Patrick Marleau* C 870 275 334 609 .70
Owen Nolan RW 568 206 245 451 .79
Joe Thornton* C 303 96 291 387 1.28
Jeff Friesen LW 516 149 201 350 .68
Jonathan Cheechoo RW 440 165 126 291 .66
Vincent Damphousse C 385 92 197 289 .75
Marco Sturm C 553 128 145 273 .49
Mike Ricci RW 529 101 162 263 .50
Milan Michalek LW 316 91 122 213 .67
Pat Falloon RW 258 76 86 162 .63

* = Current San Jose Sharks Player

NHL awards and trophies

Presidents' Trophy

Art Ross Trophy

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Calder Memorial Trophy

Hart Memorial Trophy

Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy

All-Star Game Head Coach

(* - traded from the Boston Bruins during the 2005–06 season)




See also


External links

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