SAN JOSE — Tommy Wingels was disappointed to see Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi join the team at training camp on Monday.
“[It’s disappointing] because we wanted to see them progress and do as well as they could’ve in the tournament But, only two teams can make it to this championship series and we’re happy that we have a few they’re playing still.”
“It’s nice to have our captain back in the room.”
It’s been nice for the Captain, too.
“It’s been good to sit in a meeting or two here, and just refresh what’s going on,” Pavelski said. “It’s still a process here. We’ll try to take a rest and try to get a few reps along the way.”
Pavelski and Donskoi were back at Sharks Ice after the United States and Finland, their respective countries, were eliminated after failing to win a game in the group stage at this fall’s World Cup of Hockey in Toronto. Pavelski said it was a good experience being with the team, aside from the results.
“It was kind of a different feeling,” Pavelski said about the United States’ disappointing finish at the World Cup. “You have a feeling like your season’s over. You put so much stick into that emotionally and everything. When you know you can’t go on, and it’s done, it’s tough.”
Pavelski, along with Donskoi, participated in the morning skate with the group set to play in the Sharks’ first preseason game tonight against Vancouver. The pair will not play tonight, and head coach Pete DeBoer said to expect Pavelski back on the ice by next Monday, with Donskoi rejoining the team before him.
The work off of the ice, not on it, is most important to get the pair fully ready for the season, according to DeBoer.
“They’ve missed their traditional gym time, the time in the summer where they’ve built muscle and packed on the type of muscle they need to get them through a long, hard season,” DeBoer said. “I think that’s going to be the priority here that these guys get back in the gym and work at that. The ice time will be there down the road.”
In the meantime, though, DeBoer said that it will be tough to keep Pavelski off of the ice. Not that it’s a bad thing.
“He wants to be here. That’s what makes him special.”