NHL Team Guide: San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks were founded in 1991 and ignited ten years of NHL expansion. The Sharks became the first NHL franchise in the San Francisco Bay area since the California Golden Seals left in 1976. The Sharks led the NHL in losses in each of their first two seasons in the league. San Jose finally made the postseason in its third year of existence. The team has been to the Stanley Cup once in 2016 where the Sharks lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
San Jose games on national broadcast can be found on TV on NBC and NBCSN. Most of the Sharks NHL schedule can be viewed on TV on NBC Sports California, the team’s regional broadcaster. Fans can also watch the complete Sharks schedule via live streaming on the NBC Sports app.
When San Jose entered the league in 1991, they became members of the Smythe Division of the Campbell Conference. As the league continued to expand, the Sharks eventually landed in their current home. San Jose is in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.
In 29 seasons since joining the NHL, San Jose has made the postseason in 21 of them. The team did not win a division title until the 2001-02 season. The Sharks also won division championships in 2003-04, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11. The 2008-09 team won the Presidents’ Trophy which is given to the team with the highest point total at the end of the regular season.
San Jose has won one conference championship (2015-16). That is the same year the Sharks wound up losing to Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Finals. The franchise has yet to win a Stanley Cup.
Home of the Sharks
The Sharks played their first two seasons in the old Cow Palace in Daly City before moving into the SAP Center at San Jose in 1993. Originally known as the San Jose Arena, the SAP Center at San Jose holds a capacity of 17,562 fans for hockey games.
Best of the Sharks
The most important player in the history of the San Jose franchise is Patrick Marleau. Drafted with the second overall pick in the 1997 draft, Marleau played a total of 20 seasons with the Sharks and is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer with 508 goals and 1,082 points. Marleau is one of just five NHL players to play 1,700 games in the league. This has earned him the distinction of being the player that played the most NHL games without winning a Stanley Cup.
The first pick in that 1997 draft was Joe Thornton, who would eventually become a teammate of Marleau’s after spending time in Boston. Thornton, who is still active, is the second-leading scorer in Sharks history with 1,024 points. His 780 assists are the best in franchise history. Thornton has played 15 seasons with San Jose. In his very first season with the Sharks, Thornton led the NHL in assists with 72 and points with 92. He was rewarded with the Art Ross and Hart Memorial Trophies. He also earned his only spot on the NHL First All-Star team.
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Author: Dan Anderson