Kevin Labanc believes Sharks have tools to be best NHL team in 2020-21

Kevin Labanc believes Sharks have tools to be best NHL team in 2020-21

On paper, the Sharks have one of the best rosters in the NHL.

But on the ice, San Jose fell well below expectations during the 2019-20 season.

Coming off back-to-back 100-plus point seasons, the Sharks have just 63 points with 12 games remaining in the suspended season.

With the standings frozen due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Sharks have the worst record in the Western Conference.

But Sharks forward Kevin Labanc is confident they can turn things around next season.

"I think experience of us being together, it helps a lot," Labanc told NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil last week. "And we know each of us can bring something to the table. We all know we can step up our game, be the best team in the league. We obviously didn't show it this past season, but I think we all know we can.

"It's obviously going to take a lot of hard work and dedication but we have the tools, we have the players to do so. It's just a mindset, coming to the rink every day, doing your workout."

Once the 2020 NHL offseason begins, Labanc will be a restricted free agent. Through 70 games, Labanc has scored 14 goals and dished out 19 assists.

[RELATED: Labanc considers mom a 'hero']

The Sharks are better than their 29-36-5 record. No one knows if they'll get a chance to prove it over the last 12 games of the current season. But whenever the 2020-21 season begins, they will be motivated to get back to the playoffs and make a run at Lord Stanley's Cup.

Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'


Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'

Just over a year after losing their daughter during pregnancy, Sharks forward Evander Kane and his wife, Anna, welcomed another daughter into the world.

The Kanes announced the birth of their daughter, Kensington Ava, on Thursday on social media. Evander Kane said his daughter was born on July 3. 

"My wife Anna is a rockstar, the strength and love she has displayed over the last 18 months," Kane wrote on Twitter. "We want to thank everyone who has reached out during this period in support of our family and (we) appreciate the kind words throughout this journey. I'm so proud of my daughter, it's tough to put into words how much she means to me."

Kane thanked the Sharks, their fans, his friends and family "for their overwhelming love" during a difficult time. Last March, Kane announced that their daughter, Eva, passed away 26 weeks into Anna's pregnancy.

"You gave us all, especially your mom and I, something to be excited about," Kane wrote of Eva on Twitter on March 14, 2019. "And though we are devastated that you couldn't stay with us longer, your mom and I will always cherish the time we had with your beautiful soul. Your spirit will give us strength, your love will give us comfort. We will love you forever."

The Sharks, San Jose teammate Mario Ferraro and Hockey Diversity Alliance co-founder Akim Aliu all commented on Kane's Instagram post on Thursday.

Sharks' Tomas Hertl explains funny, simple reason why he wears No. 48

Sharks' Tomas Hertl explains funny, simple reason why he wears No. 48

Tomas Hertl has a huge year ahead of him. As he returns from ACL and MCL surgery, he and his wife Aneta are expecting the birth of their first child in November.

Sharks fans everywhere can't wait for No. 48 to get back on the ice. But how did he pick that number? It’s quite simple.

“They give it to me,” he wrote in a recent NHLPA questionnaire.

Enough said.

But before Hertl was the Sharks’ All-Star center, he had other aspirations.

Believe it or not, he wrote in the questionnaire that he wanted to be an architect if he wasn’t going to be a hockey player. But he was born to play hockey.

His dad, Jaroslav, during the winter in his native in Prague, would create nets (measuring the perfect size) on the frozen ponds near where he lived. Hertl’s dad would even kick off skaters if they were recreationally using the area where he wanted to play hockey.

[RELATED: Sharks avoid nightmare scenario in 2020 NHL Draft lottery]

As much as Hertl could have thrived as an architect, his career as a hockey star was destined.