With so much rumbling in my head, might as well air it out in one piece. Welcome to 14 Thoughts, where I’ll touch on everything Sharks, hockey, and things related to both. (By the way, thank you for the idea, Elliotte Friedman)
1. Sharks’ New Secondary Logos
As many of you know, I am a logo freak. I was inspired by Terry Smith and his creations of the Sharks logos back in 1991. So much so that I design and create logos for companies, sports clubs on the side. So when the Sharks unveiled new “secondary logos” earlier this month, I was quite intrigued.
If it was just one of these logos unveiled, no big deal. But unveil three amazing, dynamic logos, something is in the works. As AJ strong mentioned in his post here, if these were to get upgraded to primary and alternate logos next season (on jerseys and all merchandise) it is the third different Sharks look in 25 years. It would be the fifth primary jersey for a franchise which went through the roof in heritage jersey sales along with retro merchandise last season.
The timing doesn’t make sense, albeit, with the Adidas jersey and apparel deal about to begin in 2017-18, perhaps Sharks Majority Owner Hasso Plattner decided he wanted his mark on the organization? After all, the Gunds were in charge in 1991, Hasso was part of a group with president Greg Jamison was the leader in the current logo.
Speaking of logos…
2. SAP Gets on World Cup Jerseys
Now we know Mr. Plattner has done a bunch of business with the NHL. When the league wanted their stats page updated on NHL.com, they went to SAP (Plattner’s company) for it. This time, who knows how much money they had to pay, but SAP will be on every shoulder of a World Cup of Hockey player. It begs the question, is the Sharks owner ok with ads on jerseys? Even if he is, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman isn’t. Bettman has been preaching that the “integrity” and “tradition” of an NHL sweater. Although, he seemed to have left the door open if the league is in financial trouble, per an interview on Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.
The last thing we need is to have jersey filled with patches. There’s no need. I’ve sadly restricted myself from getting a San Jose Earthquake jersey because I don’t want to be a sponsor for Sutter Health despite being born in a now Sutter operated hospital. Of course, if Pucknology logo can get on the Sharks jersey, perhaps I change my mind (highly doubtful.)
Speaking of Pucknology logos…
3. The New Look of Pucknology
After 106 regular season and playoff games, our entire staff at Pucknology needed a break. And while we had to clear our heads, we were already planning for this coming season. 2016-17 promises to be the biggest and best for Pucknology. We’ll unfurl everything very soon, but trust us, we will be your source for everything Sharks and your voice will be heard. Stick with us, it’s going to be… JAWSOME!
Speaking of the media coverage…
4. Warriors Move to 95.7 The Game
About five years ago, when San Francisco country station 95.7 The Wolf changed formats to a sports talk station, the hope from yours truly was that the Sharks would FINALLY get some exposure from the crowded Bay Area sports media. Early on they were. They simulcasted Stanley Cup Playoff games on a 2011 postseason run that ended up in the Western Conference Final. The Game was officially on point when they did the unthinkable by having “The NHL Rush” with Brodie Brazil and Drew Hoffar, albeit it was on Sunday mornings at 8-9am.
Then the A’s were on the flagship, then the Giants won a couple more titles, the 49ers played in a Super Bowl and duped fans that the Yorks were smart finally, then the Splash Brothers arrived and we won’t start about how the media went bonkers with Kevin Durant, then came today. The Golden State Warriors are moving over the 95.7 The Game, with fellow stations 95.3 KRTY in the South Bay, and 95.3 KUIC in the North Bay joining on as flagship stations to help reach out the exposure. Warriors will get top billing in this deal, something they never had at KNBR (mainly because KNBR has a stake in the San Francisco Giants) and get priority over the Raiders and A’s.
It begs this question then. What about the Sharks? Team Teal is on Entercom owned 98.5 KFOX and many games will spill over for the Raiders along with Spring Training and early season for the Oakland A’s. Will they go to KFOX and the Sharks end up on… KOIT? KBLX? Q102? Remains to be seen.
The next question is, are the Sharks licking their chops to get to The Sports Leader? While KNBR’s 680AM signal reaches very far, when baseball or football are on, the 1050AM signal isn’t always the best for a 7:30pm game out in the East Bay.
Nonetheless, Team Teal, here’s your chance. If you want to get out of the shadows, time to move up the dial. Hey perhaps get the Entercom Sacramento station at 98.5FM to join in. Do that and you have a reach throughout Northern California on top of the many stations in the Sharks Radio Network.
Speaking of Northern California…
5. Time to Become Northern California’s Team
The Giants vs. the A’s. The 49ers vs. the Raiders (for now). The Warriors vs. the Sacramento Kings. The Earthquakes vs. a possible MLS team in Sacramento. While there are many teams that demand your sports entertainment dollar, there’s really only one team that doesn’t have a major league equivalent in Northern California and that’s our San Jose Sharks.
The fan base is strong in San Jose and the nearby surrounding communities. That’s not a problem. Now it’s time to extend Sharks Territory outward. Time to get out to places like Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Fremont, Gilroy, Livermore. Even get out to Sacramento and Stockton. Coming off the most successful season in franchise history, while the Barracuda seeds start growing in San Jose, reach out to the rest of the Bay Area. It’s time to see places like San Francisco, Marin, Antioch, Tracy get some strong roots to Team Teal.
While the NHL has struggled marketing the game, time for teams to step it up and reach out. It can only expand your viewership and interest.
Speaking of Northern California teams and expansion teams…
6. The Las Vegas Trademark Office Was Busy on Thursday!
Well the news came out early in the day that the Oakland Raiders have applied for the name “Las Vegas Raiders” for use on merchandise. It came out later that the soon to be named Las Vegas NHL franchise applied for “Las Vegas Desert Knights” to be trademarked. First things first, I commend Raider Nation for being loyal to your franchise, while it’s decided to leave then come back then leave again. I wish the franchise was loyal as their fans. And really, the Raiders playing on artificial turf and in a dome just seems weird. I think John Madden would agree.
As for the NHL, is it possible for the NFL to sneak and swoop up Gary Bettman’s plan to be the first sport in Vegas? Looks like it’s on the verge. Raiders seem uninterested in Oakland, can’t go to Los Angeles unless the San Diego Chargers get a stadium in “America’s Finest City”, they look like they’re going to steal the spotlight on hockey and not just some random team, the roudiest bunch that are the Raiders.
It could be the NHL’s worst nightmare. You wonder if the NFL went in first, perhaps we don’t even think about expansion in the NHL in the first place.
Speaking of expansion or relocation or contraction…
7. Should the NHL Really Exapnd?
Let’s be real, the expansion process was for Las Vegas and Seattle to take the two spots, the league would have even conferences and even divisions. Seattle can’t let their hoop dreams of getting the NBA and the SuperSonics back to let go of the loophole for a downtown arena to be approved. Quebec City with an absolute gorgeous new rink, is essentially the new Winnipeg: ownership and rink in place ready to swoop up a falling franchise. Carolina? Most likely with the cluster-puck their ownership group is going through. Florida? They’re rejuvenated Panthers with newish ownership, new jerseys, new logo and defending Atlantic Division Champions. Arizona? Nope, Bettman won’t give up that one.
Speaking of Arizona…
8. Desert Dog Dilemma
The Arizona Coyotes have the right mix. Youth and great veterans like Pavel Datsyuk, Chris Pronger, and Dave Bolland. All three are Stanley Cup Champions. All have nice big contracts. All aren’t going to rock a Coyotes sweater this season. Datsyuk just scored his first KHL goal this week. Pronger is going into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year. Bolland might play later in the season… maybe. That’s nearly $18 million taken up on three guys who will have little or no effect on the team. Throw in the $2.7 million in buyouts to Mike Ribiero and Antoine Vermette, and almost $20.7 million will keep the Desert Dogs from going under the salary floor. First off, these contracts shouldn’t be counted, it’s ridiculous. Secondly, the Coyotes have found a flaw in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (besides idiot owners and GM’s overpaying, i.e. Bolland, David Clarkson) which will likely be a hot topic when the NHL opens up negotiations early (because you know they will, because that’s so Bettman.) It cheats out the Coyotes fan base from getting good talent. I mean, they could’ve easily tried to overpay for Steven Stamkos! Great talent to an up and coming squad.
Speaking of up and coming…
9. Howlin’ for Arizona Young Pups
All that being said, the Coyotes might be more youthfully stacked than those Edmonton Oilers who keep winning draft lotteries. Dylan Strome, Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, and now stealing Lawson Crouse from Florida. Add on strong defenseman with an offensive upside in Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Alex Goligoski, the Coyotes just need Mike Smith to be a hot goaltender again. This is a team on the rise with the right coaching (including new skating coach Dawn Braid) and staying whiteout hot, it can make some noise in the playoff race.
Speaking of stealing players…
10. Which is worse? Crouse to Arizona or Hall to New Jersey?
Going back to the Crouse trade, yes Florida gets rid of a bad deal to make better deals for their youth. Or go back to late June where Taylor Hall gets sent to New Jersey for middle six defenseman Adam Larssen. You mean you couldn’t get PK Subban, Edmonton? At least Florida has a reason. Edmonton did have Hall expendable thanks to landing Jesse Puljujarvi, but that’s all you can get?! Makes no sense, but hey neither have the draft picks outside the first round for Edmonton made any sense.
Speaking of good first round picks…
11. Logan Couture Will Play in the World Cup of Hockey
Unfortunately, Jamie Benn will not be able to play in the World Cup of Hockey. Great player, potential Hall of Famer. He is being replaced by Logan Couture to much of the dismay of some Canadians. Is Logan better than Benn? Perhaps not. Is he a good replacement? Absolutely. Who is going to be a better pick for than Couture? Go ahead… I’ll wait… Yeah, not much. This is a guy who put up 30 points in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Joonas Donskoi and Joel Ward. No disrespect to Donskoi (who is also going to the World Cup) and the new owner of the greatest goal in Sharks history (Ward) just think of what Couture could do with star wingers?
Speaking of Sharks Playing in the World Cup of Hockey…
12. The Great Eight (Not Ovechkin, But Include Pavelski)
San Jose will send eight players to the World Cup. Tomas Hertl for Czech Republic, Joonas Donskoi to Finland, newcomer Mikkel Boedker to Team Europe, Captain Joe Pavelski will captain Team USA, and four Sharks to Team Canada (Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic.) It’s great to rep your country, however a bit of a concern. Five of your top six forwards and your two top defensemen will begin Sharks training camp, not in San Jose. Add on the short offseason, and a semi big curveball for Boedker to fit in, and there might be some hiccups chemistry wise early on this season.
Speaking of Preseason
13. Captain’s Ice is Here!
It’s the unofficial sign that Summer is over, and hockey is return is one thing in San Jose: Captain’s Ice. These informal practices or scrimmages take place at the Sharks’ practice rink (South Rink) at Sharks Ice at San Jose. The practices are usually a combination of current and former Sharks players who still call the Bay Area home, along with retired players getting a skate in to prep for training camp or in this case, prepping for World Cup training camp.
These gatherings usually take place Monday – Friday roughly 10am-11:30am, but they are very informal to the point where it could be cancelled or take place earlier. Check with Sharks Ice before heading over there.
Finally, speaking of starting of hockey season…
14. Here We Go!
On behalf of the entire staff at Pucknology, welcome to the 2016-17 season. We are psyched for what’s in store. Join us Monday night at 7pm for a special season premiere of Pucknology After Dark, where we unveil new logos, new teammates, new shows, and we will play Sharks Jeopardy! To subscribe, visit www.youtube.com/PucknologyAfterDark1 and we’ll see you Monday night.
Let’s PUCKING do this!