Before I disclose the results of the "Greatest Sharks : Center" election, I wanted to give a big thanks to all of the people who participated in the inaugural "Greatest Sharks" debate and subsequent vote. Hopefully we will continue to have strong turnout for the many upcoming "Greatest Sharks" polls. Remember, this is your team... make your opinion heard in the comments!
So, without much further ado, let me announce the winner of the "Greatest Sharks : Center" election.
Yea! Fist pounds all around!
After eighty-two votes were cast, you chose Joe Thornton to center the first line on the "Greatest Sharks" team. Joe piled up the votes like he piles up assists, coming away as the top pick in 50% of the ballots cast. Clearly, the Talent-Over-Tenure argument made by Marcello held strong amongst voters, as Thornton was chosen over San Jose's all-time points leader and current team captain Patrick Marleau. Marleau will center the second line, earning 30% of the vote.
Although the debate was heated between Marleau and Thornton, it was an even tougher battle to see who you felt deserved the honor of centering the third and fourth lines. Ricci, as he always has done, fought hard and came away with 7% of the vote. This total was just enough to beat out Damphousse and Larionov, who are currently tied at 4 votes a piece.
It's a walk... er... run-off
As much as Fear the Fin would like to go all David Bowie and unilaterally declare a winner (we're into that whole dictatorship thing), we're not going to let our power go to our heads. Instead, we'll turn again to our loyal readers and let you decide... Damphousse or Larionov?
Interestingly enough, both players' career defining moments came during their time away from the Sharks (Damphousse with Montreal, Larionov with Detroit). However, both were fantastically skilled centers and would make a fantastic addition to your "Greatest Sharks" team.
Player analysis after the jump, just to give you a refresher...
Vincent Damphousse: Played 385 games from 1998-2004, scoring 289 points (92 G, 197 A). Playing 53 games in the playoffs, he scored 38 points. The Sharks made the playoffs five of the six seasons he was on the team. He served as captain for 20 games during the 2003-2004 season.
Igor Larionov: One of the greatest Russian born hockey players of all time, Larionov joined the Sharks in the 1993-1994 season and helped them to not only post a 59 point improvement in the regular season, but also defeat the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals. Before being traded to the Wings in the 1995-1996 season, he amassed 82 points in 97 games and averaged more than a point per game in the playoffs.
So cast your vote and stay tuned... look for the upcoming artilce in which Mr. Plank and I will break down the results.