It's been far too long since the full complement of San Jose Sharks players skated together in any capacity but they did so this afternoon as a week-long
training preparation camp began in earnest ahead of the regular season opener next Sunday. Here's the initial camp roster:
Forwards (15): Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Michal Handzus, Andrew Desjardins, Patrick Marleau, Ryane Clowe, T.J. Galiardi, James Sheppard, Frazer McLaren, Joe Pavelski, Martin Havlat, Adam Burish, Tommy Wingels, Bracken Kearns, John McCarthy
Defensemen (11): Dan Boyle, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brent Burns, Brad Stuart, Justin Braun, Jason Demers, Douglas Murray, Matt Irwin, Matt Tennyson, Nick Petrecki, Matt Pelech
Goalies (2): Antti Niemi, Thomas Greiss
Per Kevin Kurz, the line combinations and defense pairings at the team's first official practice shook out like so:
As you can see, there are some pretty glaring holes on the back end with Brent Burns and Jason Demers still out of commission. Demers continues to wear a half-cast after fracturing his right wrist during the Spengler Cup while Burns is presumably still recovering from offseason sports hernia surgery. At last report, Demers will likely be unavailable for the season opener but shouldn't be out for long while Burns' status is unknown.
On the bright side, Braun skated today after fracturing his hamate bone in Finland, providing some optimism that he could be ready to go in Calgary on the 20th. If Braun is healthy for the opener, look for the Sharks to go with Irwin on the third pairing alongside Murray while Braun skates in the team's top four, likely while paired with Stuart.
The team's forward lineup bears far greater resemblance to what we expected although hopefully Frazer McLaren on that fourth line is just camp experimentation and not an indication that he has a real shot at surviving final cuts.
According to Executive VP Malcom Bordelon, the Sharks will hold a practice open to the public on the North Rink of Sharks Ice tomorrow at noon.