October 6th, 2010, 8:57 am
Life’s a big circle, right? Our old pal Cheech is back, but only sorta. He’s in Worchester on a pro tryout. This is a bit confusing, so I’ll try to explain. Feel free to stop reading if you know this already. Every NHL team has a contract limit of 50 (not counting junior players). That’s every single player the Sharks have the rights to- SJ Sharks, Worchester Sharks, Stockton Thunder, European leagues, etc. As a practical matter, that means everyone on the Worchester Sharks, even though that is the AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, isn’t necessarily SJ Sharks property. Roy Sommer and the crew over there can sign a limited number of free agents to fill out the roster. That’s what Cheech might be, and that’s what Claude Lemieux was once upon a time. He’s not even signed to an AHL deal yet, he’s just on a tryout. Even if he does make the team, any NHL team at any time could sign him to an NHL SPC (that’s “standard player contract”). San Jose would have the benefit of a little inside information, being it’s their affiliate, but they would have no priority in signing Cheech to an NHL deal if he happens to regain some of his past glory.
Personally, I’m really pleased about this. I like the idea of having Cheech back in the Sharks “family”. And I’m also a little relieved that the big club isn’t on the hook for anything. But don’t worry, Cheech will be ok- he is getting over a million bucks this year in buyout money from Ottawa.
September 26th, 2010, 1:56 pm
Don’t think about that either.
March 29th, 2010, 11:10 am
Seems so long ago that the Sharks got crushed by the worst team in the NHL 5-1. But it’s only been eight days. I think Adrian Dater said it best (from Colorado’s perspective):
Here’s the problem: they didn’t win the game. And another: that wasn’t the real Sharks they played tonight. That was San Jose’s B Team. No Joe Thornton, no Evgeni Nabokov, no Rob Blake. First-line center, starting goalie, arguably the top D-man – not in the lineup.
Well, ok, maybe not. Blake is ‘arguably’ the Sharks’ top D-man? Please. But he was right in the first part- the Sharks were missing some key players, fought against a much better team than the Oilers and won. Despite the sinking feeling that inevitably comes with Jumbo being out of the lineup, the fact that the Sharks can still pull off wins against playoff teams is very encouraging. The latest news on Joe is that it might not be serious- tests are being done today (Pollak), and he’ll most likely be on the road trip. If he sits out a few games, it’s not the end of the world. It was particularly interesting to see how the Sharks would respond without an all-world passer in the lineup, and they responded exactly how I hoped they would- with gritty goals.
Despite my criticism for Todd McLellan this year about his (in my view) overplaying of Nabokov, one marked difference between this year and last is the care the coaching staff has taken with injured players. I think the lesson was learned from last year’s playoffs when Marleau played the Ducks series with a fairly serious knee injury. This is a situation I’m sure T-Mac does not want to replicate, and sitting Blake and Thornton is absolutely the right plan. I hope he sits both of them an extra game or two just to be sure. Blake could probably use the rest anyway, and we need Joe 100%. It also makes the last games more interesting – I like to watch Couture mature (I’m a poet and I don’t even know it), and the Demers-Vlasic combo could be the #2 pairing next year.
In other news, it seems Cheechoo has been suspended two games for this hit (thanks for the link, Joel)
While I admire Cheech’s ingenuity with the poolhall-type combination shot, it was a pretty dangerous play, and deserves to sit.
March 16th, 2010, 9:59 am
After reading this article, I marvel again at the ability of Doug Wilson to get anyone to take Jonathan Cheechoo and his contract, currently $3.5M per year, with another year left after this one. That’s not to say I don’t feel bad for ol’ Cheech. He seems as bewildered as anyone about his descent into mediocrity. Actually, mediocrity would be a gift for him right now. As someone that always carried himself with class, and would still be considered a fan favorite in San Jose, his dismal output in Ottawa (14 points in 61 games) is the only thing that matters in the NHL. And even though his productivity has improved with the Binghamton Senators (9 points in 14 games), his defensive ability hasn’t (-7). Looks like he’ll be getting bought out this off-season, which would give him *only* $1.16 million for the next two years. Most likely he’ll never see money like that again.
Maybe he can pull a Rick Ankiel and come back as a goalie. Either way, Cheech, good luck.
December 11th, 2009, 10:42 pm
Mike and Doug take over the airwaves of KDOW 1220AM and spend two hours talking hockey. In the first hour they cover the Calgary game, the Ottawa game with the return of Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo, and start to explore the kinds of changes or moves the Sharks might contemplate. In the second hour the Dudes talk to Mark Purdy, columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, and Mark Smith, former Shark. After that, the listeners weigh in with their takes.
Podcast: Play in new window