After losing tough guy Micheal Haley as a free agent to Florida, the Sharks inked physical forward Brandon Bollig to a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced on Tuesday.
The deal is worth $650,000 at the NHL level a source told NBC Sports California.
"Bollig is a competitive player who will add a tough edge to the Sharks," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "He brings with him a lot of playoff experience and a Stanley Cup Championship. His grit and physicality will be a great addition to our team."
The 30-year-old St. Charles, Missouri native posted 22 points (11g, 11a) and 136 penalty minutes in 60 games with the AHL’s Stockton Heat last season. He last appeared in the NHL in 2015-16 with Calgary, skating in 54 games with four points (2g, 2a) and 103 penalty minutes.
In 241 career NHL games with the Blackhawks and Flames, Bollig has 46 points (24g, 22a) and 578 penalty minutes, and was a part of Chicago’s 2013 Stanley Cup championship. He is listed at six-foot-three, 225 pounds.
Haley signed a one-year contract with Florida on July 1 after spending parts of three seasons with the Sharks. Last season, the 31-year-old posted 12 points (2g, 10a) and 128 penalty minutes in 58 games. His 128 penalty minutes was fourth in the NHL.
Tomas Hertl walked back his guarantee between Games 5 and 6, but the Sharks forward still made good with a double-overtime goal against the Vegas Golden Knights to on Sunday.
With San Jose on the penalty kill, the Sharks forward gathered a breakout pass from defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and went full Mark Messier to force a Game 7 in the best-of-seven, first-round Stanley Cup playoff series. The Sharks picked up a 2-1 win, despite getting outshot 59-29.
After the Sharks forced Game 6 with with a 5-2 win on Thursday, Hertl told NBC Sports California's Jamie Baker he believed the Sharks would force a Game 7 "because we're a better team than them." On Friday, Hertl clarified to reporters that he wasn't guaranteeing anything, other than the fact that "everybody will put everything in the game and Vegas and try to come back."
“We know it will be really hard, but we’re ready for this challenge," Hertl told reporters (via The Mercury News). We want to show that we can beat them there, too.”
Still, it's hard to ignore the parallels with the aforementioned Messier. Twenty-five years ago, Messier guaranteed his New York Rangers would force a Game 7 against the rival New Jersey Devils, and he scored the game-winning goal as part of a natural hat trick in the third period.
Hertl scored two fewer goals Sunday night in Sin City, but the Sharks' season continues nonetheless with a do-or-die Game 7 on Tuesday at SAP Center. Whether it was a guarantee or not, Hertl delivered on it.
The Sharks didn't score early, but they did score first in Game 6 of their Stanley Cup playoff first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Logan Couture opened the scoring with nine seconds remaining in the first period Sunday. The Sharks center gathered a loose puck in the neutral zone for a partial breakaway, then beat Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for his fourth goal of the series.
Couture's goal was historic for the Sharks. They had not scored the first goal at T-Mobile Arena in 10 previous regular-season and playoff meetings in Sin City.
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The winner of every game this series scored the first goal, and the Sharks hope history repeats itself Sunday. They entered Game 6 trailing 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, and need a win to keep their season alive for (at least) one more game.
They have the critical lead. Now, it's about maintaining it.