San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team based in San Jose, California and compete as members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). Their home arena is the SAP Center at San Jose, known locally as the Shark Tank. The Sharks were founded in 1991 and were the first NHL franchise based in the San Francisco Bay Area since the California Golden Seals relocated to Cleveland in 1976. They have won six division titles in 2001–02, 2003–04, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, and 2010–11.
An interesting story lies behind the choice of the name Sharks at the time of the foundation of the franchise in 1990. Over 5,000 potential names were submitted by mail for the new team. While the first-place finisher was "Blades," the owners 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 Ocean. Seven 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."
So who are some of the most ruthless Sharks (on the ice anyway)? Centerman Joe Thornton has played for the Sharks since the middle of the 2005-06 season. Thornton's on-ice vision, strength on the puck, deft passing ability and power forward style of play have led to him becoming one of the League's premier top line centres. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he has received the nickname “Jumbo Joe”.
Left wing centerman Patrick Marleau is the all-time Sharks leader in goals, even strength goals, power play goals, points, shots, and games played having spent his entire NHL career with the Sharks since being drafted second overall by the franchise in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He appears in lists of best current and all-time players in the NHL.
Joe Pavelski a centerman who shoots right, has played for the Sharks since 2006. He scored a goal in his first NHL game, making him the 11th Sharks player in the history of the team to do so. Joe won a silver medal for the USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov In his first nine seasons in the NHL all with San Jose, Nabokov became the team leader in nearly every goaltending category, including games played, wins, and shutouts. Joe Nolan played nine years for the Sharks having his best career year in 1999–2000, when he finished with 84 points, and tied for second in the NHL with 44 goals.
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