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From the Editor: New season, new staff

Well...a lot of the same staff, too.

SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 12: The San Jose Sharks salute their fans after their teams 3-1 defeat to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center on June 12, 2016 in San Jose, California. The Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Hello again, friends.

We are one day away from Sharks hockey returning and so soon to seeing our newest addition suit up in teal for the first time.

I don’t have words to explain how I feel about this upcoming season. Erik Karlsson is a Shark. The All Star Game will be hosted in San Jose. Doug Wilson cut the fat off this team to the point where I’m not sure who on this roster anyone in the media can find time to complain about.

This year feels big.

At Fear the Fin, we won’t be reinventing the wheel this season, but I did take in all of your feedback from my own rookie year and used it to aid in the development of both myself and the site. We’ve got some changes coming up in regards to the way we’ll be writing about things and I think it fulfills a lot of what you’ve been asking from us. We’ll get into more detail about that soon, but first, let me reintroduce you to our old staff and show you everyone I’ve brought on this summer. If you don’t know me, not a whole lot has changed since I introduced myself last year.

Seasoned veterans

Erika Towne

I’m a long time Sharks fan born and raised right here in San Jose. I have more than a decade of experience in journalism and consider writing for Fear the Fin my passion project. I write, I edit, and I’m usually the one posting to Facebook. Go Sharks!


I’m a 29-year-old Sharks fan from Toronto, Ontario. I have been a fan of San Jose since very nearly the beginning of their existence. This will be my third season at Fear the Fin, making me the longest tenured member of the staff. You can check me out as the inferior co-host of Blood, Sweat, and Teal, the Fear the Fin podcast. I do occasionally write things, believe it or not. I also spearhead a majority of the live game tweets. Also, GIF wizard.


I was born just before the Sharks were, so when I say, “I’ve been a fan forever,” well. I like the sound of skates cutting through the ice when it’s magnified by broadcast mics along the walls. I’m not sure if there’s an athlete I enjoy watching play as much as I do Joe Thornton. I’m fascinated by the intersection of data analytics and sports, and I write about my weird obsessions in a fairly regular column here called Off the Charts.

Erik Johnsgard

Sharks fan since 1991. Hockey fan since, well, also 1991. Studied psychology at Alaska Anchorage for some reason. Writing bad jokes and worse takes here at FTF for two years. Look out for our Player Power Rankings this year for some very good and smart and not at all specious and biased analyses of Chris Tierney’s Karlsson’s edge work. No, the other one.

East Bay Ry

I am a middle-aged guy who has lived most of his life in Alameda County, with time spent in Winnipeg, Santa Barbara, Toronto and Wales. I studied history at several schools including University of Toronto and University of Wales. Been following the Sharks since before they had a name. Previous bylines at H-Net and Agouti Music. Mostly, I catch the stuff that slips through the cracks, but I also write about historical games and nonsense and sometimes do the tweets. The good ones.

Haley Van Horn

I’m a 24-year-old Sharks fan from the East Bay Area, California. I’m currently studying Sociology and Political Science in college, but when I’m not crying over politics, I’m all about recapping the Pacific Division and previewing games here at Fear the Fin. I also contribute soccer content over at Waking the Red here on SB Nation and MLS Multiplex. I’m mostly here to speak ill of the Los Angeles Kings.


I’m an 18-year-old Sharks fan who was born and raised in San Jose. I am about to start studying Journalism in college, and after always loving sports (mostly hockey), sports writing kind of became a passion of mine. I write sometimes and I am typically inconsistent writing a few different topics here and there.

Lakshya Jain

I’m a 21-year-old Sharks fan who goes to UC Berkeley and studies computer science. I’ve been watching the team for over a decade and have been on this site for almost as long, so I still remember our 500-comment thread on James Sheppard. This year, I’ll mainly be covering breaking news and special features on players and management, like this one on Tomas Hertl, this on Doug Wilson, and this on Patrick Marleau.

Rob Nolan

I am a 27-year-old lifelong Sharks fan from Los Gatos, California. I studied business at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (Go Mustangs). I’ve always had a passion for writing and was somehow able to convince FTF to let me rant on their blog. This is my second season at FTF. Last season I mostly wrote game recaps, but I’m looking forward to doing a little bit more this year. I enjoy watching the entire NHL, as well as the CHL, with some AHL mixed in.


Hi, I’m Bryan. I’m a 17-year-old (yes, really) Sharks and Barracuda fan born and raised here in San Jose, California. I’ve been writing primarily for the Barracuda here for about a year now, and will continue that role this year. Some consider me the Barracuda’s biggest fan, but I don’t want a gimmick, I just want to be Bryan. Through hellfire, brimstone, and physiology homework, I love what I do here. I hope you’ll enjoy my articles as our season is just about ready to go.


I’m a 27-year-old fan since 2004 born and bred in San Jose, rosterbating at FTF in the comments since the Plank days. Doing my PhD now in political science, working as a structural engineer, and looking forward to my second year of chopping up more trade talk and game recaps for us to enjoy. Lastly, you’re welcome for EK65 — I TOLD YA SO! Enjoy the coming season ladies and gents — it’s gonna be a beautiful one.


I am a 24-year-old Sharks fan currently living in San Diego, California. I’ve had a lifelong love of the ocean and spent part of my childhood in Oakland, so when I began to follow hockey my team choice was instantly clear. I hold a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and am interested in telling stories with data, which brought me to sports writing, where one must definitively tell a story using in-game events. As I currently live in an AHL market and try to pay at least a little attention to junior leagues and college hockey, most of my contributions to Fear the Fin are on ‘Cuda Corner, keeping you abreast of the Sharks system as a whole. I also love goalies, and will try to keep you updated on any goalie transactions and maybe even their masks.

Calder Candidates

Ian C McLaren

I’m a former news editor and hockey writer for theScore who has a Master’s in Theology and currently works in marketing. A confusing resume, I know. I’m a Boston Bruins fan at heart, but have always lamented the Joe Thornton trade and have therefore always been pulling for the San Jose Sharks from afar. I live in Guelph, Ontario and am excited to be on the Storm beat for Fear the Fin this season, with special emphasis on 2018 first-round draft pick Ryan Merkley, who impressed me from Day 1 at the OHL level.


I’m a 33-year-old Sharks fan from Fresno, California. I studied Web Design at California State University Monterey Bay (GO OTTERS!). I am Fear the Fin’s graphic designer, so I make dumb pictures and make sure the colors look pretty. I also manage the Instagram account.


I’m a 40-something non-recoverable hockey addict. Tech industry by day, hockey writer by night, previously at before the tech career took over, now at Fear the Fin. I drink scotch, travel the world, and write stuff. Beer-league forward, prior coach, boatloads of snark and opinions. Love my San Jose Sharks, love German Shepherds, and have a cat named Cheechoo, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Did I mention snark and opinions?

Jay Neemeyer

I’m a 20-year-old journalism major studying at Temple University in Philadelphia, where I’m on the sports staff for the Temple News. I’m primarily a Capitals fan but the Sharks have a special place in my heart. I’ll be writing mostly game previews to start with, and cover as many East Coast games as I can. I’m a rookie just happy to be here!


I’m a 27-year-old from Los Angeles, California who’s recently grown fond of the San Jose Sharks. I studied Mass Communications and Media Studies at Arizona State while traveling this lonely world of sports journalism. When I’m not writing here at Fear the Fin, you can find my byline over at PSG Talk where I provide footie talk over the French club Paris Saint-Germain. Occasionally make GIFS, write about analytics, and the Barracuda. I’d like to think that my first year writing for FTF had a hand in landing Erik Karlsson.


Let me start by addressing the elephant in the room: yes, I am a Canucks fan living in Sharks territory, and I apologize in advance for that. But I’m also a 21-year-old journalism major at Santa Rosa Junior College whose love of hockey transcends all most rivalries. Aside from FTF I’ve been writing on my own site, Lach in the Crease, for the last two and a half years. You’ll find me working on the Barracuda beat this season, but I may jump into Sharks news whenever a “Goalie Appreciation Post” is needed.

Features on Fear the Fin

Some of the new features, you’ve already seen a taste of. Erik F. will be doing deep dives into new analytics and how the Sharks look in his series Off the Charts. Ian will be updating y’all on your favorite baby defender in Storm Watch. Erik J. will be starting Sharks power rankings weekly.

We’re going to run the preseason a little differently than how I plan for the regular season, but when we get there, we’re looking at a new structure for gameday coverage. We’ll still preview every game in the morning with the three questions facing the Sharks going into the game, as well as bold predictions from our writers.

Instead of a separate game thread and recap, this year, we’ll be liveblogging along with you in the game thread, giving you live reactions to the game. At game’s end, we’ll flip that same post to serve as a recap to those who missed the game. It’s a little less formal that our game-story style recaps have been, but we’ll hit all of the action and you’ll get our reactions, as well as other readers reactions as they happened in real time.

The next morning, we’ll dig into the game. What went wrong? What went right? What was the turning point? Whatever the big story was from the night before, we’ll take our time to offer analysis on it the next day. I think expanding our gameday coverage like this, making the game threads an interactive experience and lessening the pressure of getting a recap up immediately, will allow us to provide a better, more comprehensive look at the Sharks.

We’ll be previewing and recapping all 76 Barracuda games this year. Those will be more traditional in style, but will also be posted the morning after Barracuda games.

Deep Blue Sea will be returning tomorrow, giving all of you a space to talk about larger league happenings and any off-topic conversations every day. Because much of San Jose’s media is now behind a paywall, this feature will be more focused on league-wide news because there’s very little free Sharks content left to link to.

The podcast is being revamped for season 2 and will relaunch soon with all new artwork and vaguely professional sounding updates. And of course, all of your favorite features — Pacific Division Round Up, Ex-Shark of the Week, Keeping Up With the Pups, Midweek Mailbag, etc. — still have a home here on Fear the Fin. But if you’ve got suggestions, drop ‘em below! And while you’re there, welcome the newbies to their first training camp.

I’ve got a good feeling about this year.

Let’s go Sharks!