Sharks

Florida defenseman trolls Sharks' Thornton

Florida defenseman trolls Sharks' Thornton

Joe Thornton may have started a trend.

The big, bearded center recently agreed a one-year, $8 million contract extension with the Sharks, signing on the dotted line while sitting atop a riding lawnmower at his home in Canada last Sunday.

Florida defenseman Mark Pysyk noticed, and decided to do the same – albeit on a slightly smaller mower – when he re-signed with the Panthers for three years on Thursday. 

On his conference call last Sunday, Thornton explained why he signed the deal on his lawnmower.

“Up here in Canada that’s all I do is cut the lawn,” he said.

“We get rain nonstop right now. It rains every night and pretty good during the day, but the grass grows so quick. When the kids go to bed, daddy is out cutting grass. That’s what I do. I either fish with the kids, or I’m cutting grass after they go to bed. That’s about it.”

Sharks notes: DeBoer sees depth starting to show its full potential

timous.jpg
USATSI

Sharks notes: DeBoer sees depth starting to show its full potential

SAN JOSE -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said Saturday night he believed his team really displayed its roster depth in a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders.

"I thought the story of the game was contributions from all 20 guys," he said. "I thought we got a great team effort from everybody."

There was so much talk at the start of the season about how much depth the Sharks had on paper -- and then more talk about how that depth wasn't showing right off the bat. But as this team works its way through the first month of the season and builds chemistry, that depth is starting to show.

"I think every game you start to move around the ice a little more seamlessly without thinking as much," DeBoer said. "I think every game you get a little more comfortable."

Timo Meier agreed with that assessment, saying he felt that kind of line depth even came into play in the previous game -- a win over the Buffalo Sabres.

"Every time we get a win, it's because we have a lot of guys chipping in," the winger said. "And that's how it needs to be. I think the depth of our team is our strength."

Will that strength play a role in the upcoming road trip? DeBoer expressed earlier in the week he felt the Sharks weren't rewarded for the chances they created on the previous roadie.

Meier said the team would just have to keep grinding.

"Sometimes there are tough buildings and tough circumstances," Meier said. "We've just just gotta stick with it."

Joe Thornton is expected to accompany the Sharks on their upcoming three-game road trip this week, although there's no word as to whether or not the center will play. 

Thornton has practiced with the rest of the Sharks all week since they've been at home facing the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders, but he has yet to be in a game lineup. 

***

On the same morning that news of Thornton's plans to go on the road trip came to light, rookie forward Dylan Gambrell was reassigned to the San Jose Barracuda.

Gambrell is expected to suit up for the AHL club on Sunday night when they host the Stockton Heat. 

Gambrell was recalled by the Sharks when Thornton left the previous road trip, but he was reassigned as soon as the team returned home so he could participate in the Baracuda's game Monday night. He has played in two games for the Baracuda so far this season, contributing on the score sheet every time.

Gambrell did not join them in their Saturday night game in Stockton, and instead was a healthy scratch for the NHL club.

DeBoer hinted earlier in the week that Gambrell might play in his first NHL game of the season fairly soon. When NBC Sports California caught up with Gambrell on Tuesday about working with both teams, the 22-year-old said he's embracing the workload that comes with it and that he'll be happy with wherever he's slotted.

Joe Thornton plans to join Sharks on road trip, but his status is unclear

Joe Thornton plans to join Sharks on road trip, but his status is unclear

SAN JOSE -- It's been a little over two weeks since Joe Thornton left the Sharks' five-game East Coast road trip. Now it appears the center might join the team as they hit the road again -- although it isn't clear if he'll see any game action.

Thornton plans to accompany the rest of the team on its upcoming three-game road trip, which opens Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators. He participated in all of the Sharks practices this past week, including Saturday morning's optional skate, and he even slotted in during power play practice earlier in the week. Nevertheless, there has been no further update on Thornton's health.

The 39-year-old top liner was placed on injured reserve Oct. 5 after he experienced swelling in his surgically repaired knee following an overtime win over the Kings in Los Angeles. While Thornton has looked fine during morning skates, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer maintained all week during home practices that the center's status remained day to day.

Joe Pavelski has centered the top line in Thornton's absence. He primarily has skated with Evander Kane and Kevin Labanc as his wings.