When your team is usually near the top of the standings, it’s hard to bring youngsters into the fold. It’s also hard to find blue-chip prospects when you’re drafting so low, but lately San Jose’s fortunes have begun to turn in the rookie department.
On the heels of Sharknado 2 comes San Jose’s logo, checking it at No. 16 in THN’s rankings. As you can imagine, any image falling in the middle of the pack divided the voters.
Half the room praised it for its sense of fun and wonder – It’s a friggin’ shark! When is a shark not cool? – and the other condemned it for being too cartoony and reeking of the 1990s predatory animal team name boom (cough, Jurassic Park, cough, Toronto Raptors).
On the plus side, San Jose’s current shark logo is one mean S.O.B. Its teeth are razor-sharp and its eyes glow with the same yellowy orange found in San Jose’s uniform scheme. Sharks are scary enough. When their eyes glow demonically, it’s just cruel.
Then again, nothing about the shark feels overly real. The teal and black suggest it’s coated with water and shadow, but the world associates sharks with grey more than any other color since most of them are, you know, grey. The glowing eyes and cartoony sneer also make the shark look like some kind of cyborg mutant Shredder and Krang cooked up to battle the Ninja Turtles. Holy mackerel, Donny! It’s Robo-Shark!
The fun thing about a logo with so many pros and cons? The redesign possibilities are endless. Whether you prefer a more organic-looking shark or you want to take the surreal look even further, we want to see what you can do. Take your best shot and send your art to email@example.com. Maybe we’ll publish yours among our favorites at the end of the ranking process. Don’t stop with San Jose, either. Draw one for all 30 NHL teams if you have the artistic itch.
All logos below are from Chris Creamer’s website.)
HISTORY OF THE SHARKS LOGO
Toronto’s shameless use of the Raptor was deplorable, but the shark, which was chosen out of 5,000-plus fan entries before the team began play in 1991-92, is entirely defensible. Sharks are found all over the Pacific Ocean and specifically in the Bay Area’s Red Triangle, so it’s not a stretch for a San Jose team to feature one. Better yet, the region is known for its shark research facilities.
Note that I said ‘Sharks’ was chosen out of the 5,000 entries – not that it won. Ownership did you a huge favor, San Jose fans. The winning entry was the Blades. Really? That’s the best the Silicon Valley could come up with? Woof. The Gunds decided ‘Blades’
sucked sounded too much like a weapon and had gang connotations in the area, so they went with something equally deadly but not man-made.
The departures since last summer of Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza from the Ottawa Senators prompted ESPN’s Craig Custance to suggest Bobby Ryan could be next to leave town. Custance notes Ryan, 27, is entering the final season of his contract at an affordable cap hit of $5.1 million. He becomes eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.
Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen recently reported the Senators opened contract talks with Ryan and fellow 2015 UFAs Clarke MacArthur and Marc Methot. Of the trio, Ryan will be the most difficult to re-sign.
The rebuilding Senators took a step back in their development last season, Ryan’s first with the club. The loss of Spezza via trade and Ales Hemsky to free agency makes Ryan their top scoring forward. How the Senators perform this season could influence his future plans.
Another factor will be Ryan’s asking price. He’ll have a golden opportunity to cash in via free agency, where he could be the best available player. It could cost the budget-conscious Senators more than $7 million per season on a six- to eight-year deal to keep Ryan in Ottawa. Read more
Logan Couture is a good sport, but as he helped raise money for the Smashfest charitable event in Toronto last week, you could tell there’s a weariness surrounding him these days when the press is around. That’s because he knows there will inevitably be questions about his team’s collapse against Los Angeles in the first round of the playoffs, when San Jose could not close out a 3-0 series lead. The Kings would go on to win four straight, of course, and ultimately the Stanley Cup.
“You think about how much it hurts,” he said. “It’s sad. The feelings aren’t gonna go away, probably ever. It’s something that sticks with you a long time. It should be motivation for our team.”
We recently sorted out our Yearbook predictions for 2014-15, which included projected standings and which team will win the Stanley Cup. Without giving it away, our anticipated winner has been to the promised land before. Which mathematically, should not be surprising. Only 12 of the NHL’s 30 teams have never won the league title and it’s hard to say who will be next. When the Los Angeles Kings won their first Cup in 2012, they broke a streak of futility that had stretched back to 1968 when the team originally entered the league. The following teams would like to join them:
The New York Islanders are credited with bringing the concept of ice girls to the NHL in 2001, but many franchises have since followed suit. San Jose is the latest team and the Sharks are now dealing with a movement to ice those girls before they even get to shovel their first snow scrapings between whistles.
Sure, as Greg Wyshynski of the Puck Daddy! blog notes, they’re mixing in a guy or two on the squad, but he gets to wear a zip-up jacket. The women will sport the bare midriffs that are basically standard-issue in the ice girl game and that’s one of several reasons there is growing animosity towards the concept.
Here’s my main problem with the concept of ice girls (other than the fact teams are infantilizing these employees who most likely drive cars to the games by calling them “girls” instead of “women”): it’s not just the needless and workplace temperature-inappropriate sexualization, it’s the void of other female role models in a hockey context at NHL arenas.
The NHL’s arbitration process is scheduled to begin later this month. Twenty NHL players have filed for arbitration, while three players were taken to arbitration by their teams. Usually, these contracts are settled before the team and player have to face off in front of an arbiter, so expect most, or all, of these to be settled before the process begins.
Arbitration cases will be heard between July 20 and August 5. Here are the eligible players:
Brandon McMillan - A third round pick by Anaheim in 2008, McMillan played 22 games with the Coyotes in 2013-14, scoring two goals and six points. He also played 46 games with the american League’s Portland Pirates, scoring 11 goals and 26 points. The 5-foot-11 winger was acquired by the Coyotes last year in a trade that sent Matt Lombardi to the Ducks.
Matt Bartkowski - A seventh round pick by Florida in 2008, Bartkowski averaged the fourth-most minutes among Bruins defensemen in 2013-14 and scored 18 assists. He was acquired by Boston in what turned out to be an awful trade for Florida, which sent Bartkowski and Dennis Seidenberg to the Bruins for not much at all. Bartkowski has emerged as a physical defensive blueliner who fits in nicely with Boston’s brawny way. Read more
Many NHL teams have prospect development camps going on this week, with some already underway. These sessions are a great way to teach new draft picks how the organization works and get them familiar with their peers from past draft classes who are also attending. Usually there’s some sort of tournament or scrimmage at the end.
But the camps aren’t just for draft picks. Along with previously signed free agents, teams bring in kids on tryouts. Not only does this fill out the roster, but it also gives the franchise an opportunity to get a longer look at some players they may have overlooked in the draft – or simply ran out of picks before they could snag. Here are some of the best names in that cohort.
Scott Savage, D – Boston College (San Jose, Anaheim)
The California native is double-dipping back home, taking part in camps hosted by the Sharks and Ducks. Coming out of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Savage was a physical, defensive D-man without ideal size. But he’s always had mobility and put up decent numbers with the Eagles this past season.
Bobo Carpenter, LW – Austin Prep (Toronto)
The son of ex-NHLer Bobby Carpenter, ‘Bobo’ is short for Robert and he’s the third generation of that name. After his high school season ended, Carpenter put up nine points in nine games for Sioux City in the United States League and despite his obvious offensive talent, he didn’t hear his name called at the draft in Philly. Skating might be a factor, but the Maple Leafs are giving him a whirl.
Ken Appleby, G – Oshawa Generals (Arizona)
Appleby has excellent size, standing 6-foot-4 in the crease, but as a backup to Carolina prospect Daniel Altshuller, he didn’t see enough time to intrigue an NHL team. His .920 save percentage actually edged Altschuller’s .917 mark and perhaps that’s why the Coyotes would like to see more from the youngster.
Joe Hicketts, D – Victoria Royals (Detroit)
One look at Hicketts’ measurements – he’s 5-foot-8 and 186 pounds – and you can see why NHL teams may have been scared off at the draft. There was also a shoulder injury that truncated his season, but the blueliner can put up offense and he’s feisty out there; physical play is no issue. The Red Wings were intrigued enough to bring him along to their camp.
Sam Anas, LW – Quinnipiac Bobcats (Montreal)
Another smaller player, Anas will fit in perfectly in Montreal. Ha ha! Just kidding. But seriously, the 5-foot-8 winger is tremendously talented in the offensive zone and put up more than a point per game this past season while playing on Quinnipiac’s top line. The Habs are giving the college kid a chance to shine in the summer now, too.
Damian Bourne, LW – Mississauga Steelheads (Calgary)
At the other end of the spectrum is 6-foot-4, 209-pound Bourne, who never really got on track offensively this year. A big, powerful winger, Bourne can dish out the punishment and perhaps he’s destined to be a bottom-sixer. Whether or not he develops into a power forward, the Flames wanted another look.
Kevin Tansey, D – Clarkson Golden Knights (Ottawa)
Tansey has been to a camp before in Toronto, but now it’s the hometown Senators giving him a shot. The physical, defensive blueliner missed all of 2012-13 due to a concussion and injury to his ribs, but rebounded this season and put up solid numbers in the ECAC.
Blake Clarke, LW – Saginaw Spirit (Detroit)
Clarke went through a dreadful scoring drought this season and was traded from North Bay to Saginaw in between. The big winger also dealt with a shoulder injury that messed with the mental side of his game, but he’s been a scorer in the past and clearly the Red Wings want to see if he can rediscover that touch.
Jordon Cooke, G – Kelowna Rockets (Los Angeles)
At 5-foot-10, Cooke does not have ideal size for a modern netminder, but he did have great numbers for one of the best teams in the nation. Was that because of the players in front of him, or was he part of the reason the Rockets succeeded? Cooke was named CHL goaltender of the year, so there’s a pretty good clue there. At the least, the Kings are intrigued.
Jack Flinn, G – Owen Sound Attack (Toronto)
Again, we have opposites. Flinn comes in at 6-foot-7 with lots of potential but poor numbers. He was the backup in Owen Sound this year, but split the playoff workload with starter Brandon Hope. The Leafs are willing to test out Flinn’s huge frame at their camp this week.