And then there were four.
The Sharks' 3-2 win over the Avalanche in Game 7 of their NHL playoff second-round series sent them to the Western Conference final and one step closer to the Stanley Cup. And San Jose's odds to win it all continue to increase.
Going into their series with the St. Louis Blues, the Sharks have 12/5 odds to take home the Cup, according to Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
San Jose entered the playoffs at 12/1 odds, but their never-say-die attitude is starting to be recognized. The Sharks have won two Game 7 contests this postseason, and now have captain Joe Pavelski back in the lineup.
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The Sharks are sure to be tired, though they've already beat plenty of adversity.
Puck drop for Game 1 of the Western Conference final is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT at SAP Center on Saturday.
The Sharks were forced to surrender multiple first-round draft picks over the past few years in order to retain top-of-the-line talent.
But in the NHL's new Collective Bargaining Agreement, San Jose's agreements with Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson would have been different.
Kane was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in Feb. of 2018, with the Sharks surrendering Daniel O'Regan and a fourth-round draft pick. But the deal included a condition that if Kane re-signed in San Jose, the compensation sent to Buffalo would increase in value. Sure enough, Kane re-upped with the Sharks and San Jose instead had to deal a 2019 first-round pick to the East Coast.
But the new agreement mandates that teams no longer can include conditions in trades that allow for further compensation if a player re-signs, meaning the Sharks would have been able to hold on to their 2019 first-round pick (No. 29 overall), which ended up being used by the Anaheim Ducks on Canadian wing Brayden Tracey.
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Previous CBA guidelines didn't allow NHL teams to sign players acquired via trade to an eight-year extension until after the following trade deadline. This forced San Jose to wait until June of 2019 to ink Karlsson to his eight-year, $92 million extension with the team, despite joining the organization in Sept. of 2018 after a trade with the Ottawa Senators.
But in the recently ratified CBA, this rule no longer will apply.
The 2019-20 NHL season returns to the ice on Aug. 1, but the Sharks won't be one of the 24 teams competing.
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.