Hockey, Free Agency, and the San Jose Sharks

I am no expert on hockey. Sure, I like the game, and I can talk a little about strategy, and how the game is actually played. I have no real credentials, however. I am a fan who understands enough of the game to have a general conversation, but nowhere near enough to possibly understand the mess that is Free Agent Frenzy, but I do understand what I want from the off-season.  And what I want is simple: a prospective big time D man who can play at home defense.

My knowledge of D men is even more limited than my mediocre knowledge of the sport in general. To be sure, I enjoy the sport of hockey, but I have only really been following it for the past nine years or so. To say that I follow hockey is a bit inaccurate, though, because I really only follow the San Jose Sharks. I don’t care about any other team in the league. Yeah it fun to see highlights from other teams, but I’m not such a hard-core fan, but I do believe in supporting the hometown team–unless its the Giants or the Dodgers (but if i had to choose between the two it would be the Giants because they’re not the Dodgers)–so I follow the Sharks. I am not from San Jose, but I lived in Northern California , and the Sharks being the only NorCal NHL hockey team, I decided to be a Sharks fan.

Plus, sharks are just cool. Look at this picture and tell me I’m lying.

Anyway, to return to the point (I do ramble sometimes) I want the team in teal to end up with a solid defensive player who can play twenty two minutes or more a night (If you think that isn’t a lot, especially because they are on skates and can just glide you think wrong and I would thank you to shut up.) I don’t just want minutes, oh no. That would be too easy. If all I wanted was a body out there on the ice, it wouldn’t matter who was on the ice. For example, Brad Staubitz. Not only do I want a body that can play almost every night. Ideally he wouldn’t miss a game, but realistically that is just too much to hope for. These guys get hit wit pucks, sticks, fists, skates. They get smashed into boards and goalposts. And sometimes hey fall down for no reason, but maybe that song is reason enough to fall down–WITH LAUGHTER!

So we won’t be getting a guy that can play every game, but if he can play between 70 and 75 games where he clocks in around 25-28 quality minutes a game that would make me happy. And that is the thing, The Sharks not only need a defenseman who can log bug minutes, but who can make those minutes quality minutes. Dan Boyle is an excellent example of a d-man who logs big time quality minutes. He is a bit more offensive minded than defensive minded, in my opinion anyway (I am sure the numbers prove it, but I don’t really trust numbers, they’re tricky), and the team needs a more stay at home type. Sure, he can have some offensive ability, but I want him to be a big and solid skater. I want him to block shots, give hits, be able to take a hit, all the while remaining in position. I want a shut down man.

I want a bear on the ice. A Russian Bear. I didn’t know who this guy was until I read that article by Ivano M, but as soon as I had read it I knew I wanted the Russian Bear on the Sharks. It would combine two of the deadliest beasts on the planet and he would wreak havoc upon the league, unleashing his primal bestial urges upon unsuspecting opponents such as Tomas Holmström, Corey Perry, or Brian Campbell (I have to make that joke because I’m a Sharks fan, but I really harbor no animosity toward Campbell. How could I or anyone else after this:

Sadly, the Sharks were unable to sign the bear, but they did pick up a goal l know nothing about, but I do know I need to learn to spell his name, and it’s a doozy.

His name is Antero Niittymaki. It’s actually not that bad, but I think I will call him Mr. Tymaki, which I find hilarious because I like to think of it as a cross between Mr. T and Mr. Miyagi, a wise man who was prone to anger. I find this somewhat fitting because by all accounts Niittymaki is inconsistent. He’s a Dr. Jekyll Me. Hyde goalie. What Seinfled might call a two face.

And it is even more perfect because in the clip the back booth in the coffee shop is the only place she looks good, and this is just like Mr. Tymaki’s dominance over Atlanta, the one team he always plays consistent against.

The regular season is months away and the deadline is even further. I have confidence in Doug Wilson, despite the contract that shall not be spoken of until it proves worth it (and I don’t mean Nichol or the dude whose last name sounds like a jar of mustard.)

He has plenty of time to make a move and get a good solid d-man.

And until the trade deadline I wait with baited breath.

Go Sharks!

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