Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
San Jose Sharks
|San Jose Sharks|
|Home ice||HP Pavilion|
|Based in||San Jose|
|Colours||Pacific teal, grey and black|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Head coach||Ron Wilson|
|General manager||Doug Wilson|
- Founded: 1991
- Arena: HP Pavilion (capacity: 17,483)
- Uniform colors: "Pacific" teal, Black, and Grey
- Logo design: A shark biting a hockey stick in half. The team also uses a secondary logo of a shark fin emerging out of water.
- Stanley Cups won: none
- Mascot: S.J. Sharkie
Although Northern California was a hotbed of hockey in the latter part of the Original Six era, the first attempt to bring NHL hockey to the region was a dismal failure. In 1976, the Oakland Seals would move to Cleveland, where they would play for the final two years as the Cleveland Barons. The owners of the Barons, George Gund and Gordon Gund , would merge the team with the Minnesota North Stars, which the two owned until 1990.
On May 9, 1990, the Gund brothers would sell their share of the North Stars in return for the rights to a new team back in Northern California. Thus, the Sharks, a nickname chosen from over 5000 entries submitted by mail, and inspired by the sharks living in San Francisco Bay, were born. The team played its first two seasons in the Cow Palace in Daly City, California, before moving to the San Jose Arena (now the HP Pavilion), or more colloquially, the Shark Tank, where they currently play.
For the first two seasons, the Sharks were one of worst teams in the NHL, as often happens to expansion teams . In the 1992-93 NHL season they had an NHL all-time-high 71 losses. The third, 1993-94 season , was more successful, the Sharks finished the regular season with a 33-35-16 record, making the playoffs with 82 points. That was 58 points more than in the previous season, an NHL all-time record for single season points differential. In the first round of playoffs, they met the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings, and won the series 4-3. In the second round, they would lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-4. They made the second round of playoffs in the next season, 1994-95 , as well. The key Sharks players at this time were goalie Arturs Irbe, defensemen Sandis Ozolinsh and forwards Igor Larionov and Sergei Makarov, under coach Kevin Constantine.
The next season, 1995-96 season , was not as good as the previous two; 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, and the team began rebuilding by acquiring forward Owen Nolan from the Colorado Avalanche, as well as several other players.
The Sharks returned to the NHL playoffs two years later, in the 1997-98 NHL season , 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 5 years, the Sharks always made the playoffs, yet never advanced past the second round. In the 2000-01 season, Russian goalie Evgeni Nabokov became the starter for Sharks, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's best rookie. The team also acquired Finnish star forward Teemu Selanne from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, who played for the team until 2003.
The 2003-04 NHL season was the Sharks' most successful so far. They finished the regular season with a team-record 104 points, won the Pacific Division championship, and were seeded second in the Western Conference. They charged through the playoffs—taking down the St. Louis Blues 4 games to 1 in the conference quarterfinals and stopping the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 in the conference semis—before falling to the Calgary Flames 4-2 in the conference finals.
The Sharks are often credited with popularizing teal as a color for American sports teams. Team merchandise remains popular around the world.
Players of Note
Hall of Famers: none
Not to be forgotten:
- 99 Wayne Gretzky (retired league-wide by the NHL)
- San Jose Sharks - official website
- The Feeder - fan Sharks columnists
- Sharkspage - fan Sharks weblog
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