Yesterday, Troy Grosenick said goodbye to the Sharks and Barracuda family upon the news that he, along with Brandon Bollig, were headed to Nashville.
Seeing how much we meant to him, I think it’s only fair if I get a chance to say goodbye back. So here goes.
When we first met you were just a Wisconsin kid.
Coming off a stellar season with Union College, playing alongside the likes of Shayne Gostisbehere, Josh Jooris, and Daniel Carr, you signed an entry-level deal with the Sharks in 2013. Having been ECAC Tournament MVP that year and being the ECAC Goaltender of the Year the season before that, it’s not hard to understand why the Sharks would have interest in you.
You made an impact in Worcester immediately — a .903 save percentage in 2013-14, followed by a .906 save percentage the following year.
Cut to November 17, 2014. Raleigh, North Carolina.
Alex Stalock gets placed on injured reserve, and you get the call up to the big boys. What’s more — you’re starting that night, with your family watching.
And what do you do?
You record a 45 save shutout for your first ever win in the NHL.
And a legendary celebration was born.
You didn’t get to spend too much time with the Sharks, unfortunately, but you still made Worcester proud as you and Aaron Dell took them back to the playoffs that April, something that the big Sharks failed to accomplish.
And then the move to San Jose.
On January 29, 2015, GM Doug Wilson announced that the Worcester Sharks would be moving west. In fact, they would be moving into the Shark Tank, giving birth to what we now know as the San Jose Barracuda. That leads us to October 9th of that year: the Barracuda’s first-ever game.
I truthfully didn’t know what to expect that night when I walked into the lower bowl, with the upper bowl mostly covered. But I saw you, for the first time, leading the Barracuda on to the ice for a match up with the Rockford Icehogs, and that was when I knew I was going to watch somebody truly special for a long time.
Since then, I took note of your ritual. When the doors to the SAP Center opened, and you got the call in net, I would always see you down at the tunnel doing your normal stretching, way before the other Barracuda players were supposed to be over there.
But when I really got to know you was when I made one of the best decisions of my life: becoming a Barracuda season ticket holder for the 2016-17 season.
Oh, man, that magical season.
After winning the starter position sometime around December, you went OFF. It seemed like every night I watched the same thing: you stretched out in the tunnel, you went out for warm-ups, and then around two hours later, the final horn would sound as you picked up your water bottle, tossed it to the bench, and did your signature half-fist pump celebration. A save percentage of .926 that season was enough to win you the Baz Bastien Memorial Award, awarded the best AHL goaltender of the season.
You met someone in San Jose by the name of Rocky Barbanica. Sometimes a goal judge, other times just working for the Barracuda or sitting in his seats and enjoying the action, you two hit it off. Every night he was working, when it was time to take to the ice, he would be there in the tunnel, telling you, “Go get ‘em tonight.”
The playoffs that season were unbelievable. I still cannot believe that you got a hold of this shot from Angelidis to save our season.
Even though we had a tough-to-swallow loss in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final in Grand Rapids, with that end a remarkable season, it was obvious that you had become the face of the San Jose Barracuda.
Troy, I don’t think I can stress this enough — THANK YOU.
Thank you for being such an amazing person to talk to. Thank you for stepping up when it mattered the most and playing lights-out. Thank you for being such a stand-up guy. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to watch you play the game you love every night. I wish you the absolute best of luck in Nashville and Milwaukee, and hopefully, I’ll see you down the road. The San Jose Barracuda family will treasure you forever and make sure you are never forgotten.
All the best,