Only Eighteen Shopping Days Left Until Training Camp Opens

And yet not a word on the third jersey, although designs based on descriptions floating about are out there:

Image from based on info at icethetics

Final word on the third jersey before moving on to (ahem) somewhat more important information such as who'll be wearing a team issued rather than store bought one: again according to icethetics the third jersey will make its on-ice debut at the home game against Washington on Saturday November 22nd with a release to retail on Friday November 27th. Which would be a neat trick given how that's Thanksgiving, making me suspect the information originates from Canada where Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. It does bring up an interesting visual of how to identify true Sharks fans: look for people who wake up Thanksgiving morning and immediately banish all thoughts of football, family and food as they rush down to the Sharks Store at the Tank in an effort to be first in line come the morn of Black Friday... which really will be black as new black jerseys are purchased left and right. Whatever the actual release date, it'll make Mrs. Dude's Christmas shopping as easy for me as mine will be for her given that Tony Stewart, her favorite NASCAR driver, is changing teams along with sponsors and car number next year. But I digress.

On to who'll be in the team issued jerseys. We know Marc-Edouard Vlasic will be as he recently autographed a four year contract extension. Pickles had a bit of a sophomore slump last year, occasionally looking lost and making poor puck-handling decisions. However, overall he is a good defenseman with genuine promise of improvement. While he isn't averse to throwing checks he isn't going to manhandle anyone and is at a disadvantage in one-on-one battles against the boards with the Brenden Morrows of this world. That said, in open ice Vlasic has strong positional skills and far more often than not makes good decisions as far as where to go and how to interrupt the opposition's preferred play development. Pair him with the right compliment, namely a defenseman more into the physical side of things, and you have a strong duo more than capable of keeping up with most lines in the NHL.

Now, might the reason the Sharks have yet to re-sign Tomas Plihal be to free up his number (#39, in case you've forgotten) for a previous owner of same... namely this guy?

Jeff Friesen... as if you didn't know that already.

Just joshing about the number part, but this part is true: the Sharks have invited Friesen to camp as a tryout player. While he never developed into the superstud scoring machine many thought he would be, taking a look at Los Tiburones' current roster on left wing adding Friesen to the roster should he have anything left makes sense. Consider the possible line combinations Drew Remenda hypothesized a while back:

Marleau Thornton Cheechoo
Michalek Pavelski Setoguchi
Clowe Mitchell Grier
Shelley Roenick (to be determined)

Granted, there will be games when you want your enforcer on the ice.  But do you really want to run Shelley and/or Roenick out there for every game?  Adding Friesen on left wing would provide the flexibility of shifting Marleau to center, thus providing additional line possibilities.  And when skill rather than force is the desired element with which to face an opponent, Friesen as compared to Shelley... 'nuff said.  By the way, didn't someone offer the opinion once or twice last year that the Sharks should give serious consideration to bringing Friesen on board?

Back to waiting for training camp to start.