It’s been a busy summer for the San Jose Sharks, as they look to get back to the playoffs after failing to qualify this past spring.
The Sharks and general manager Doug Wilson acquired goalie Martin Jones and then signed him to a three-year contract extension. They also signed veteran forward Joel Ward and defenseman Paul Martin.
However, with the new additions, it’s the core group of players, including Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, that forward Logan Couture seems to believe in as San Jose looks to get back to the post-season, despite what has been an overall lack of success that time of year.
“I talked to Doug a couple times throughout the summer, and we want to win,” Couture told The Hockey News.
“San Jose does. That’s our goal. We realize our best players, Jumbo and Patty, are getting a little bit older. I think we have the core to win, and Doug went out and got some very good players. Paul, Martin Jones, Joel, they’re just going to help us.”
Lacking a player with a “C” on his sweater was far from the only sign of dysfunction in San Jose last season, but new head coach Peter DeBoer said the Sharks will get that captain question out of the way in 2015-16.
NHL.com transcribed his interesting thoughts on the subject, which he expressed during an appearance on San Jose’s 95.7 The Game on Wednesday.
“I feel very confident by the first game of the season, we’ll have a captain,” DeBoer said. “It’s not something we are going to drag around as a distraction this year. We’re going to move past that. I think the players are ready for that too; they just want to play some hockey and get this thing back on track.”
Even with a captain likely to be named, DeBoer believes that the Sharks will continue to “lead by committee,” much like other teams. He noted that you only see a Mark Messier-type leader every now and then (even with that annual award and all).
Quite a bit has changed in San Jose, but the go-to guys remain largely the same, include former captains Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.
The 2014-15 campaign was something of a meltdown at times, and if nothing else, the hope is that DeBoer will provide stability to a team that still seems to boast playoff-level talent. Cutting down on drama seems like a worthy effort, really.
The Dallas Stars are counting on Patrick Sharp’s Stanley Cup-winning experience to help put them over the top.
“Going back two seasons ago, we sat down and we’re trying to figure out our organizational depth chart,” GM Jim Nill said Monday, per the Dallas Morning News. “We knew we had a young core coming along, but the one missing piece we knew was going to be, how do you find these experienced guys that have won Cups, who do things right?”
In Sharp’s case, they found him in a trade with the cap-crunched Blackhawks.
“I’m all about resumes and the resume that he has, that’s what we need,” Nill said. “We’ve got some great young players here that are going to learn from him. I think the young players are going to energize him also.”
Sharp didn’t disagree with that last point. The 33-year-old winger said that “coming to a team like Dallas, with so many young players and so much enthusiasm, it kind of reignites the passion to play hockey.”
The Stars also added Cup-winning experience in free agency, signing both defenseman Johnny Oduya and goalie Antti Niemi.
Sharp won three Cups in Chicago, Oduya two, and Niemi one.
“The Chicago Blackhawks have not won three Cups in the last six years because they have played the way they wanted to play,” Nill said. “They all bought into playing the right way and that’s how we’re going to play.”