Sharks Greats : Center
Since I painstakingly stalk each and every one of the people who post on this site, I come across many good ideas here and on other SB Nation Blogs. I also know your social security numbers, but I haven't found a good use for those yet.
While doing this, I came across a fan post by our very own Marcello on McCovey Chronicles, the SB Nation Giants blog that I'm sure many of you are familiar with. He was advocating a community driven prospect list, where bloggers voted to determine a ranking of prospects and their value. It was met with huge success, so I'm stealing the essence of it.
Many of us don't necessarily know hockey prospects, so putting it to a vote would probably result in the "I'm voting for the coolest name!" effect. So I adapted the idea to put together an all-time San Jose Sharks team.
For the next few weeks, I'm going to put up player synopsises for each position on the ice, and then put it to a vote. I think we should try to fill all the positions on a traditional depth chart (4 C, LW, RW, 6 D's, 3 G's), and include some "healthy scratches" (either active or retired players who should be part of the team but not in the starting lineup) then re-evaluate the list after each season.
So, without further ado, I present the players I believe should be nominated for Sharks Great: Center. Vote for whomever you believe should be number one, and subsequent votes will determine the order of 2-4. Jump for player analysis...
Note: To be considered a "Sharks Great", you must have played parts of a minimum of three seasons with the team. (Stats are through the 2007-2008 season)
Jamie Baker: Baker, having served two stints with the Sharks over his career, is likely one of the most famous San Jose players of all time. He is remembered most for his series winning goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the 1994 Western Conference Quarterfinals. In 186 regular season games with the Sharks, he scored 62 points. In the playoffs, he added 9 points in 25 games.
Vincent Damphousse: Played 385 games from 1998-2004, scoring 289 points (92 G, 197 A). Playing 53 games in the playoffs, he scored 38 points. The Sharks made the playoffs five of the six seasons he was on the team. He served as captain for 20 games during the 2003-2004 season.
Igor Larionov: One of the greatest Russian born hockey players of all time, Larionov joined the Sharks in the 1993-1994 season and helped them to not only post a 59 point improvement in the regular season, but also defeat the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals. Before being traded to the Wings in the 1995-1996 season, he amassed 82 points in 97 games and averaged more than a point per game in the playoffs.
Patrick Marleau: Drafted second overall in the 1997 NHL entry draft, Marleau has played for the Sharks over his entire NHL career (12 seasons). He is the Sharks all time leader in points, scoring 539 points in 795 regular season games. In 53 playoff games, he has scored 15 goals and 23 assits. Marleau has served as team captain from the mid season mark in 2003-2004 to present day.
Mike Ricci: Signed as a free agent from the Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche in 1997, Ricci went on to score 101 goals and 162 assists in 529 regular season games and 33 points in 47 playoff games for the Sharks. Ricci was known for his gritty style of play and was recently brought back to the Sharks to serve in the front office. He served as captain for 10 games during the 2003-2004 season.
Joe Thornton: Thornton was traded to the Sharks in the 2005-2006 season for Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart, and Wayne Primeau. Thornton lead the league in assists and won the Art Ross Trophy that year, arguably turning Jonathan Cheechoo into an elite NHL scorer in the process. He is only the third player in NHL history to record consecutive 90 assist seasons, and has been named to the NHL All-Star team each year with the Sharks. All in all, he has accumulated 231 assists and 302 total points in the regular season with the Sharks.
*If you feel I have left some one out, feel free to write them in!
Who is the Shark's greatest Center of all time?