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yave1964

BARRACUDA!!

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  I watch way more AHL hockey than most and probably more than I should, it is only one rung below and teams have begun to move their AHL franchise into their own backyard but in many ways it is a million miles away. Kids on their way up, vets on the way down, AHL stars toiling mostly in obscurity except for the market that takes them in as one of their own, playing for a fraction of NHL money, hanging on for love of the game.

 

  Anyway, I look at teams organizational depth charts and keep track of who is where, who is built for the AHL grind with a mix of kids and vets, who is going to have a good record but mostly with career AHLers creating an illusion for fans of the parent club that they have help on the farm, stuff like that. I looked at the Sharks this offseason and I readily admit, I saw a team that had traded away too many draft picks and prospects and was devoid of talent at the AHL level and saw a team that could not withstand injuries when/if they occur.

  And unlike teams like the Griffins for instance who went out and signed veteran AHL stars such as former goal scoring leader Wade Megan and Chris Terry and Carter Camper to tutor the kids, San Jose (Barracuda) did not do this. No Jake Chelios types to make the fans feel warm and fuzzy (even though he isn't much of a player) no Harri Sateri to prop up the teams record and make them appear better equipped than they were. The Barracuda went out and said, nah, we are going all in on the kids pure and simple. I would have picked them last in the West.

  

  Instead, through October the Barracuda have one of the best records in the AHL playing with all kids sitting at 7-1-1 with, and please read this, 35 goals for and 18 against an insane 2-1 goals for to goals against record through the first month. And they are doing it right.

 

  Oh there are a few AHL vets hanging around mentoring, John Mccarthy is playing third line minutes and acting almost as an assistant coach during the games to the kids. Antoine Bibeau isn't a great NHL prospect but is an AHL vet and mentoring solid kid prospect Josef Korenar. Dylan Gambrell has seen some time in the NHL but has 5 points in 3 games in the A and looks like a cant miss top six forward, the teams top line which is giving the league fits at both ends of the ice is Perron, Letunov and Halbgewachs the top two are 21, the later is only 20. All look for real. Kyle Wood is a point a game blueliner and will be recalled sooner rather than later, if he isn't enough kids Desimone and Jeremy Roy are ready to step in on the back end as well. The point is they are giving the kids a chance to play big minutes every night, the record is not a fluke propped up by aging vets.

 

  And I should have known better than to have written the Sharks organization off again, I did so a few years ago saying they had nothing coming through the pipeline and then Doug Wilson who in spite of consistently drafting 20-25 if eh even keeps his first round pick that is always manages to draft wisely it seems, at a time where I said the Sharks had nothing in the system a few years ago they promoted Hertl, Tierney, Donskoi, Leblanc, Goodrow and Karlsson. None are stars but all contribute. Now they have added Suomela, Sorenson and Chartier to the mix.  Gambrell and Wood are clearly next in line chomping at the bit but there are a bunch of kids nipping at their heels.

 

 I am not saying these guys are going to turn into a bunch of hall of famers but the Sharks draft well and are not afraid to promote from within. AHL coach Roy Sommer is an organizational icon, much loved, he has coached for twenty one years at the AHL level for the Sharks organization and is the winningest coach in AHL history. 21 years of teaching kids the Sharks way. It is an amazing streak and deserves mention.

 

  So my bad for saying the Sharks were in bad shape at the AHL level, I should have known better. Wilson and Sommer as usual, as what seems like always have them right where they want them to be. What a great organization. The Sharks should be the poster child for the rest of the NHL teams on how to maintain a level of excellence over the decades, seeming to never have a bad year or lack of organizational depth. Kudos from a jealous Wings fan.

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OH one more thing that I forgot about Sommer who trails only Scotty Bowman , Trotz and Quenneville all time for professional wins, he has now , and read this one twice to let it sink in, ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY ONE CURRENT AND FORMER SHARKS HAVE PLAYED FOR SOMMER.  I am going to write that again because it seems remarkable for one organization to have this kind of stability, ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY ONE CURRENT AND FORMER SHARKS HAVE PLAYED FOR COACH SOMMER. Talk about consistency within an organization.

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      I watch way more AHL hockey than most and probably more than I should, it is only one rung below and teams have begun to move their AHL franchise into their own backyard but in many ways it is a million miles away. Kids on their way up, vets on the way down, AHL stars toiling mostly in obscurity except for the market that takes them in as one of their own, playing for a fraction of NHL money, hanging on for love of the game.     Anyway, I look at teams organizational depth charts and keep track of who is where, who is built for the AHL grind with a mix of kids and vets, who is going to have a good record but mostly with career AHLers creating an illusion for fans of the parent club that they have help on the farm, stuff like that. I looked at the Sharks this offseason and I readily admit, I saw a team that had traded away too many draft picks and prospects and was devoid of talent at the AHL level and saw a team that could not withstand injuries when/if they occur.   And unlike teams like the Griffins for instance who went out and signed veteran AHL stars such as former goal scoring leader Wade Megan and Chris Terry and Carter Camper to tutor the kids, San Jose (Barracuda) did not do this. No Jake Chelios types to make the fans feel warm and fuzzy (even though he isn't much of a player) no Harri Sateri to prop up the teams record and make them appear better equipped than they were. The Barracuda went out and said, nah, we are going all in on the kids pure and simple. I would have picked them last in the West.      Instead, through October the Barracuda have one of the best records in the AHL playing with all kids sitting at 7-1-1 with, and please read this, 35 goals for and 18 against an insane 2-1 goals for to goals against record through the first month. And they are doing it right.     Oh there are a few AHL vets hanging around mentoring, John Mccarthy is playing third line minutes and acting almost as an assistant coach during the games to the kids. Antoine Bibeau isn't a great NHL prospect but is an AHL vet and mentoring solid kid prospect Josef Korenar. Dylan Gambrell has seen some time in the NHL but has 5 points in 3 games in the A and looks like a cant miss top six forward, the teams top line which is giving the league fits at both ends of the ice is Perron, Letunov and Halbgewachs the top two are 21, the later is only 20. All look for real. Kyle Wood is a point a game blueliner and will be recalled sooner rather than later, if he isn't enough kids Desimone and Jeremy Roy are ready to step in on the back end as well. The point is they are giving the kids a chance to play big minutes every night, the record is not a fluke propped up by aging vets.     And I should have known better than to have written the Sharks organization off again, I did so a few years ago saying they had nothing coming through the pipeline and then Doug Wilson who in spite of consistently drafting 20-25 if eh even keeps his first round pick that is always manages to draft wisely it seems, at a time where I said the Sharks had nothing in the system a few years ago they promoted Hertl, Tierney, Donskoi, Leblanc, Goodrow and Karlsson. None are stars but all contribute. Now they have added Suomela, Sorenson and Chartier to the mix.  Gambrell and Wood are clearly next in line chomping at the bit but there are a bunch of kids nipping at their heels.    I am not saying these guys are going to turn into a bunch of hall of famers but the Sharks draft well and are not afraid to promote from within. AHL coach Roy Sommer is an organizational icon, much loved, he has coached for twenty one years at the AHL level for the Sharks organization and is the winningest coach in AHL history. 21 years of teaching kids the Sharks way. It is an amazing streak and deserves mention.     So my bad for saying the Sharks were in bad shape at the AHL level, I should have known better. Wilson and Sommer as usual, as what seems like always have them right where they want them to be. What a great organization. The Sharks should be the poster child for the rest of the NHL teams on how to maintain a level of excellence over the decades, seeming to never have a bad year or lack of organizational depth. Kudos from a jealous Wings fan.
    • 2
      Post
      OH one more thing that I forgot about Sommer who trails only Scotty Bowman , Trotz and Quenneville all time for professional wins, he has now , and read this one twice to let it sink in, ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY ONE CURRENT AND FORMER SHARKS HAVE PLAYED FOR SOMMER.  I am going to write that again because it seems remarkable for one organization to have this kind of stability, ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY ONE CURRENT AND FORMER SHARKS HAVE PLAYED FOR COACH SOMMER. Talk about consistency within an organization.

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