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Sharks #13 in ESPN's Ultimate Team Rankings

The 2011 results of ESPN's annual fan survey of which team is best in the four major sports have just arrived. The Sharks managed to land as #13 out of 122 teams, a spot lower thank last year's rank of #12. Of note, opinion of ownership is ranked 7th best and stadium experience is 9th. (Keep in mind these are fan surveys, so it's not like ESPN pulled the numbers out of their ass - their method for calculating the surveys can be found here) To compare how well the Sharks did: * They're the 4th highest NHL team ranked, with the Lightning (#2), Penguins (#10) and Sabres (#11) higher. * Within NHL teams, they're the best Pacific Division team. In order, Sharks fans are more confident of their team than either Ducks (#23), Coyotes (#28!), Stars (#46) or Kings (#55) fans. *And in the Bay Area, the Sharks are the highest ranked team. The Giants (#33) trail them by a score; you then have to drop far to get to the A's (#84), Warriors (#89), 49ers (#90) and Raiders (#104).

Apparently, Pierre LeBrun's been at Sharks training camp the past few days. Here is a video of him...

Apparently, Pierre LeBrun's been at Sharks training camp the past few days. Here is a video of him interviewing Jumbo Joe. Original link if this embed doesn't work.

LeBrun on the Nitty/Niemi situation

Pierre LeBrun takes a look at how the Sharks will be handling their all-Finn goalie tandem. Biggest surprise in the article: Niittymaki was actually called in for permission to sign Niemi. H/T to Mirtle for pointing out this article on Twitter.

Every possible option of Dany Heatley heading out of Ottawa has been squashed. To Edmonton?...

Every possible option of Dany Heatley heading out of Ottawa has been squashed. To Edmonton? Heatley doesn't want to go. To San Jose? The Sharks can't offer the right package. A three-way deal with the Habs? Patrick Marleau won't waive his no-trade clause. To the KHL? Heatley doesn't want to go. So what's going to happen? Fox Sports' Spector says the only way he'll be dealt is if the Shark improve their offer or another team jumps in with an "incredible offer" -- both unlikely. So perhaps the Heatley saga will be at intermission until next offseason -- or the one after that, or after that.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nhl/features/rumors

According to ESPN player survey Patrick Marleau is the most underated player (and us fans are the third most disruptive)

On the ESPN player survey Patrick Marleau was voted the most underrated player (he got 8% of the vote).

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