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The glass wall

(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, January 18, 2013)

The names of the players on the mostly final Sharks roster are out there by now. By association, the names of the players who were sent back down are also known to Sharks fans: John McCarthy, Bracken Kearns, Matt Pelech, and Matt Tennyson.  The Worcester Sharks are playing right now. Listen in here.

Yesterday a Worcester player was sent down to the ECHL: Sacha Guimond.  He had been called up from the Bulls, but due to a recent trade involving the Bulls captain Justin Bowers and the rights to Guimond, the young defenseman won’t be coming back to San Francisco.  Instead he’s going to play with the Gwinnett Gladiators, to hone his skills and await another shot at the AHL. Because he was originally a Bulls prospect and not a Sharks prospect, he could in theory be called up by any team.  He was in Worcester on a PTO.

That has to be frustrating.  There you are, working away, trying to do a good job, feeling like you’re part of the team, there’s laughter and uniforms and a budding understand of how things work.  Busy busy busy you are, so busy you have no idea how you ended up wrapped around that stanchion.  You suppose it must somehow be your fault, you should have seen it coming, did someone push you there?   And where did that blood come from?  Is it pumping or merely seeping?

Maybe players don’t feel like that at all, maybe I’m just projecting. I do that.  Anyway, you wouldn’t see it coming, it’s transparent and just wide enough to stop you while others pass safely.  Everyone in a training camp is there to be tested and the roster limit, like a bell curve, requires some to fail.  It’s nothing personal.  I mean, yes, you’re a person and your personal self is being sent away but it’s not personal, it doesn’t mean we don’t like you.

There are things a player is supposed to say when he’s sent down.  “It was a great experience, I learned a lot, I’m grateful for the opportunity…”  All of that is probably true. Not only is it true but it’s useful to the player.  Sulking or dwelling on your bad luck is not conducive to a positive mindset.  Also, kicking something could break your foot, especially if you are a fit young athlete.   So stay positive, try really hard to focus on those nice things you are supposed to say when you get sent away.

It still sucks.  Hitting the glass is one way to help you remember where it is, the pain serves as a reminder. It still hurts.

On to more cheery matters.  Somewhat surprising, Nick Petrecki is still here in San Jose.  That makes me glad.  I like it when people rise above expectations, even when those expectations are based on flimsy things like “he hasn’t progressed quickly enough.”  What’s he supposed to do, wait until he’s younger to improve?  The time is always now, and time with the new ACs might be just the ticket to get him moving forward.

He may not have much time.  If Irwin is the presumed replacement for the injured Sharks, Petrecki will probably be sent down as soon as either Jason Demers or Brent Burns returns.  How long will that be?  The Sharks announced the exact return date and time for each over the PA system at Sharks Ice but I wasn’t paying attention.

Of course they didn’t but I wish they had.  No, we don’t know when they’ll be back yet.

The Sharks also kept James Sheppard (with a new 1 year contract) and Frazer McLaren.  For the Sharks fans who have wondered for more than a season what they could expect from Sheppard, questions will be answered shortly.  Frazer McLaren?  Well, he seems to be getting one more shot from the Sharks.  Of the players they called up, he was clearly the only one that fit the “rugged games” bill mentioned by McLellan.  So that is probably the least surprising choice the Sharks made.

Bulls notes:

The Bulls have not named a new captain and are going with their three Alternates: Scott Langdon, Jordan Morrison and Hans Benson.

In addition to the three players acquired from Gwinnett (Ouellet, Galiardi and Larson), the Bulls signed another forward: Sebastien Trudeau.  All four skated with the team yesterday.  Look for Trudeau wearing number 10 his weekend.  He is likely to turn up in the top six.

The Bulls will play in Stocktno tonight at 7:30pm (listen here) and they will be back at the Cow Palace tomorrow night at 7:15pm.

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