Sharks' biggest takeaways after team's 2019-20 NHL season comes to end

Sharks' biggest takeaways after team's 2019-20 NHL season comes to end

Seventy-six days after the Sharks last played a game, the 2019-20 NHL season officially came to an end for them and six other teams.

During recent weeks, NBC Sports California has been able to FaceTime video chat with a majority of players on the roster to gain better perspectives on where this group has been, where they stand, and where things could be headed.

Here are five defining quotes which stood out:

On big-picture takeaways from 2019-20 season

“We need to get back to playing responsible. There’s got to be an emphasis put on accountability, and playing as a team and family, and for each other. Sometimes we got away from that last year. Not throwing any blame around, but there was a lot of turmoil.”
Bob Boughner, Interim Head Coach (April 15, 2020)

On believing the core group is still the right group

“Coming into that team, if you look at the roster, we shouldn’t be where we are. I think everybody understands that. It’s an off year. They’ve been going deep into the playoffs for years and years. Trying to understand we still have that identity, and the right players on this team to get us back to a playoff hunt and competitive, that’s something [general manager] Doug [Wilson] is really focusing on.”
Stefan Noesen (March 31, 2020)

On the Sharks’ continued defensive struggles

“It’s never just the goalie. It’s the players in front of the goalie and the system. If you go back to last year [2019], Sharks were the only team that made the playoffs with a negative goal differential. The signs were already there last year, they just weren’t adhering and playing the way Pete DeBoer wanted them to play.”
Randy Hahn (March 19, 2020)

On Joe Thornton’s future in the NHL

“I look at this selfishly for Jumbo, hoping that he does come back for us next year. It saves an extra twelve games on the legs and that body. I know he’s going to get a little bit older, but saving some time will help us if he comes back. Which we’re all hoping he does.”
Logan Couture (March 18, 2020)

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On using struggles as motivation moving forward

“It’s easy to put it behind and focus on the next year. I’ll look back on 2014-15 [missing the playoffs], and then the next year go all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. If you look at that and build off that, you know the guys came in next year with something to prove. We’re not that type of team to miss the playoffs. I don’t see why it can’t happen again.”
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (March 27, 2020)

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.