The Scottsdale Sharks?
Coronavirus has forced San Jose Sharks to upend their training camp plans for the upcoming season. General manager Doug Wilson told reporters on Sunday that the franchise will set up training camp at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“The health of our community is certainly the most important thing and most paramount issue that everybody is trying to get on top of,” Wilson said. “We knew that there was a possibility that we would have to explore this, so we did a lot of research, a lot of options, factored in all of the variables that we thought would be important.”
The Sharks will anchor down at a hotel within minutes of the Ice Den and are expecting players to arrive on Dec. 30, the day before camp opens. The Ice Den has also hosted training camp for the Arizona Coyotes in the past.
The NHL is scheduled to open the 56-game regular season on Jan. 13 without any preseason games. Wilson said the location for the team’s regular-season contests is still to be determined, but that he hopes the Sharks will get a lot of early road games so they can return to their home ice later in the season.
“There’s a couple potential options that we’ve been exploring, just like we were exploring for training camp,” Wilson said. “Could be a hub city. Could be us playing in another NHL city for a while. Until we see our schedule, I don’t think we’ll know which and how many games will be affected.
“We’ll have more information on that later this week. Obviously, our ultimate goal is to be back in San Jose, practicing as our facility and playing games in our building and in front of our fans as soon as possible.”
A ban on contact sports by Santa Clara County has made it impossible for the Sharks to convene in San Jose, so they decided on Scottsdale after working with the NHL and Coyotes and going through an exhaustive list of options. Wilson said he also recently spoke to 49ers general manager John Lynch about the challenges of relocating the team from the South Bay to Arizona.
“He shared some of his experiences, some of the things that they did well and some of the things that they maybe would have approached differently,” Wilson said. “He shared some valuable information with us.”
Wilson said he doesn’t know when to expect news on the Sharks’ return to San Jose.
“I wish any one of us on this call had a crystal ball for that answer,” Wilson said. “We feel that we will be back in our community practicing and playing, we just don’t know when.”