The San Jose Sharks were so close. So close to sweeping the L.A. Kings right out of the playoffs in the opening round. So close to dispensing of their California rivals and moving on to face the other in the Western Conference semifinal.
And then they lost four straight, including a final defeat on home ice, to get knocked out of the playoffs. Tough way to end a season, with plenty of blame and doubt and questions to go around the organization, from head coach Todd McLellan to player personnel.
With that, it was reported that the Sharks will not raise season ticket prices for next season.
From CSN Bay Area:
The Sharks will not raise season ticket holder prices for the 2014-15 season, club C.O.O. John Tortora confirmed to CSNCalifornia.com on Friday.
Ticket holders were notified by email earlier on Friday.
According to the Sharks’ website, full season ticket packages range in price from $1,144 in the upper level behind the goal to $9,064 for “VIP glass” seats.
“The fans that I’ve spoken to are obviously frustrated with the way the season ended,” Sharks’ chief operating officer John Tortora told the San Jose Mercury News.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.