Former San Jose Sharks great Owen Nolan was recently inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. After eight seasons with the Sharks, he’s a guy who has strong ties to the team and community. He’s also a guy with opinions.
“I am surprised. I really thought this year we were going to make a really solid run at it, especially when they get up three-games-to-none. To lose four straight, it was disheartening,” Nolan said. “Everybody will have their opinion. Nobody really knows what went wrong except for inside the organization.”
Hearing a Sharks alum like Nolan call their latest playoff departure “disheartening” is like hearing it from a disappointed parent.
You know Nolan loves the team and wants to see the best for them (he was team captain for a bit) but coming up short when they were so close to finishing it off and moving on hits him right in the emotional wheelhouse.
For the record, Nolan knew a thing or two about coming up big in a big spot for the Sharks. Just ask Roman Turek…
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.