The San Jose Sharks are just two years away from their 30th anniversary as a franchise. Through that time they have seen four trips to the Western Conference Finals, and one run at the Stanley Cup. As a playoff team more often than not, it’s no surprise the franchise has seen their fair share of big-time players have dawned the teal and black over the years, but how many do you remember?
Number 5- Scott Gomez
The long-time New Jersey Devil bounced around the league quite a bit later in his career. After a messy split with the Canadiens that resulted in a compliance buyout in January of 2013, Gomez signed with the Sharks just six days later. He played 39 games in San Jose, registering two goals and 13 points, and suited up for nine of the Sharks eleven playoff games that season.
Number 4- Josh Georges
Originally undrafted out of the WHL in 2002, Josh Georges’ junior play would improve the following season and he signed an ELC with the san Jose Sharks and made his AHL debut in during the 2004-05 NHL lockout. His play was good enough to earn an NHL job during the 2005-06 season where he played 49 games and 11 in the playoffs. Georges spent one more season with the Sharks, bouncing between the AHL and NHL before leaving the organization in the summer of 2006 to sign with the Canadiens.
Number 3- Adam Graves
Best known for his decade-long stint with the New York Rangers, Adam Graves’ decorated career was at it’s peak. Winning a Stanley Cup in 1994, a King Clancy Trophy in 1994, and Bill Masterton Trophy in 2001, Graves entered the twilight of his career as a Rangers legend. With his numbers starting to decline, in the summer of 2001 Graves was dealt to the San Jose Sharks for Mikael Samuelsson and Christian Gosselin. He played two full seasons in San Jose from 2001 to 2003, scoring 26 goals and 49 points before retiring in the summer of 2004.
Number 2- Claude Lemieux
Claude Lemieux’s legendary 19-year NHL career originally came to an end in 2003. He played two seasons in Europe before making his North American return, signing an AHL deal with the Worcester Sharks. After posting six points in 14 games, the Sharks signed him to a two-way deal right after Christmas and made his NHL return on January 19, 2009. Lemieux registered a single assist in 18 games. After the season he retired for good after 1,215 NHL games.
Number 1- Ed Belfour
When 1997 rolled around, goaltender Ed Belfour was already nine seasons into his professional career, all spent with the Blackhawks. During the 1996-97 season he was at the end of his contract and the Blackhawks didn’t want him to leave for nothing during free agency in the summer. On January 25, 1997 Chicago traded him to the San Jose Sharks for Ulf Dahlen, Michal Sykora, Chris Terreri, and a second round pick in 1998. The Sharks were at the very bottom of the Western Conference and hoped Belfour could provide some stability in net, but that didn’t happen. Belfour played in 13 games posting a 3.41 goals against average and an .884 save percentage. Needless to say the Sharks were not thrilled with his play and let him walk in free agency where he would sign with the Dallas Stars.
As a player, Doug Wilson is best known for his 14-year stint with the Blackhawks from 1977 to 1991. Today, Wilson is known as the General Manager of the San Jose Sharks organization. Wilson was acquired by the Sharks on September 6, 1991, just before San Jose’s inaugural season. He played two seasons for the Sharks before retiring in 1993. He was later named the Sharks general manager in May of 2003.
It’s no secret the Brian Boucher spent his career as a journeyman goaltender. Boucher started the 2007-08 season by signing an AHL deal with the Philadelphia Phantoms. He stayed in the AHL until February 26, 2008 when he signed a deal to finish out the season with the San Jose Sharks to backup Evgeni Nabokov. He signed a one-year deal to stay with the Sharks for the 2008-09 season. All in all Boucher suited up for 27 games posting a .919 save percentage and 2.12 goals against average.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: thehockeydraft.ca