NOLLY'S NOTES - BLOG #18Jun 21, 2022
Happy official first day of Summer, Cuda Country. I told my fiancé that yesterday, and she said, wait, I thought it was already summer? We’ve been hit with some pretty good weather since the season ended, so it’s a fair point. To be honest, I only knew it was the first day of summer because my monthly planner said so.
Highs in San Jose are expected in the mid-90s today and it could even reach 90° on my side of the hill in Santa Cruz. Beach day, anyone?
I want to start this blog by wishing all the fathers out there a Happy belated Father’s Day. I can say without a doubt, I wouldn’t be pursuing my dreams of being a professional broadcaster without the unwavering support of my dad, Bart. There wasn’t a time in my life, and still isn’t, that I felt like I couldn’t pursue my dreams. As a kid, he came to nearly every sporting event I was in, and as an adult he listens to nearly every game. Dad’s rock! Thank you pops for everything. You are the best and I love you very much.
Our family is growing by two feet, I mean two rinks. The City of Gilroy officially approved a Sharks Ice facility which will house two ice sheets in Gilroy. The Gilroy City Council vote was unanimously approved on Monday night. Meaning once built, Sharks Ice facilities will be as north as Oakland and as south as Gilroy, and will include four separate locations, and a total of 12 sheets of ice. Hockey is alive and well in the Bay Area!
A couple different Pacific Division teams announced head coaching hires in the last week. The LA Kings officially hired Sharks alumnus Marco Sturm to take over their AHL club, the Ontario Reign. And just this morning (Tuesday, June 21) it was announced that former Stanley Cup winning coach Dan Bylsma would be the first head coach of the Coachella Valley Firebirds. Bylsma spent this past season as an assistant with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, the joint affiliate of the Seattle Kraken and Florida Panthers. Byslma is no stranger to the Golden State as he played all of his 429 NHL games with the Mighty Ducks and Kings and even played in the IHL with the Long Beach Ice Dogs.
Sturm played 938 games in the NHL between San Jose, Boston, LA, Washington, and Florida. 553 of those games were played in teal. The German-born forward was selected by the Sharks in the first round (21st overall) of the 1996 NHL Draft and of course was a part of the Joe Thornton trade between the Sharks and Bruins.
The Calder Cup Finals are officially underway between the Chicago Wolves (Carolina Hurricanes) and the Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis Blues), with the best-of-seven series currently tied at 1-1. If you’re trying to find a rooting interest, there are a pair of former Barracuda players on the Wolves in Stefan Noesen and Cavan Fitzgerald. Game 3 is set for Wednesday at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA at 4:05 p.m. PT. Watch live on AHLTV.com.
The Wolves have a pair of Calder Cup championships under their belt since joining the AHL in 2001 and the last Calder Cup championship won by a team from Springfield was the Indians in 1989-90 & 1990-91.
A couple of prospect notes before we sign off, William Eklund was named to Team Sweden’s preliminary World Junior roster. The U-20 World Junior Championships were moved from late December/early January to August due to Covid. Additionally, Gannon Laroque, who signed his entry-level contract with the Sharks on June 1, and Ben Gaudreau were named to Canada's 2022-23 National Junior Team summer camp roster. Speaking of prospects, I had a chance to sit down with recently signed forward Mitchell Russell for an exclusive one-on-one interview. Watch below.
That’ll do it for this edition of Nolly’s Notes. Thanks for reading and so long until next time.