Teal Town USA Fans’ Picks
Andy Man (@Bleedingteal)
Evgeni Nabokov, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Doug Wilson
Nabby was the first Sharks player to win any kind of league trophy recognizing individual excellence. He’s T-21 in wins all time. He’s also 18th in shutouts. He still stands as the only goalie with a PPG. He was our draft pick, and he’s still with the team.
Patty will likely end up as a HOFer. He’s 27th All-Time in goals, and 5th in games played. He is the only player in franchise history to have worn all but one jersey design in Sharks history. The Sharks drafted him in 1997, and he’s likely going to retire as a Shark.
Jumbo Joe is one of the best players of all time. He’s one of two players in history with 1000 points after being traded. When you think of the Sharks after the year 2000, you think of Jumbo. He is synonymous with San Jose, much like Patty. Because he sees himself as a Shark, he always will, just as us fans will.
Wilson was the Sharks’ first team captain ever. But I chose him more because of what he’s done as an executive. He’s done monumental things for this organization and for the community at large. The only person more instrumental to this franchise is Sharks TV play-by-play voice, Randy Hahn.
Jessica Gaeta (@jessicagaeta)
Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Evgeni Nabokov, Logan Couture
Jumbo has done so much for the franchise in terms of building up guys around him, and is willing to take a hometown discount to make the team as competitive as possible.
Patty Marleau’s nickname is Mr. Shark. Enough said.
Nabby is easily one of the most fun goalies to watch. He gave the Sharks good years and is now a coach that’s improved the current goaltending.
Couture has paved a path for younger players on the team. More times than not, he’s led by example on the ice. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and I admire that about him. He is unconventional in the way that he addresses the media but it’s so refreshing to see a player almost go against the norm and just be himself.
Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, Brent Burns
The reason for the order, given my sense of humor, is that Jumbo and Burnzie’s beard could be good “bookmarks” at each end of the mountain.
More importantly, I do think each of them have established themselves as a franchise player. The most unconventional choice, I am guessing, is Brent Burns. Most people don’t realize that Burns will be with us for a full decade next year and his performance has been a keystone of the Sharks’ success in making the playoffs consistently and making our one and only trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015-16. I understand that some fans emphasize his defensive miscues (especially this season), but I think when you are looking long-term, he is definitely a franchise player.
Steve Cropper (@SharksFan03)
Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Owen Nolan, Evgeni Nabokov
Thornton made this team a perennial contender. He made stars out of everyone that played on his line. Jonathan Cheechoo would not have won the Maurice Rocket Richard without Jumbo. He makes everyone better than they are.
Nolan was the ultimate power forward and leader.
It’s a tough one between Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau (honorable mention). Joe Pavelski is a clutch performer and has heart. He always seemed to be involved in the big goals when the Sharks needed it most. I also appreciated when he worked hard. I thought Pavs was a better leader than Marleau, and he was willing to pay the price in front of the net.
It is tough between Nabby and Irbe. I am a newer fan since the mid-2000s so I know Nabby more than Irbe. I enjoy the history of the Sharks so I have read about Irbe’s early days as a Shark and a KC Blades player. I think if Irbe had a better team in front of him, he would take that slot. I know Nabby’s history from the Kentucky Thoroughblades to when he came here during his playing time here. Nabby is fourth on my list. He had a five-hole issue that cost the Sharks games sometimes but he was always a reliable goalie that could bail out the five guys in front of him.
Joshua Zalk (@JZalk)
Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Owen Nolan
Joe Thornton single-handedly transformed the franchise when they were struggling for the first two months of 2005-06. Not only did he save the season, but his presence lengthened the Sharks consecutive playoff appearances by 8 additional campaigns. He deserves to be recognized in Sharks lore due to his elite passing, exemplary character, and someone who will put the team above himself (Last three contracts, telling DeBoer to keep the first PP unit out there during the Pavelski Payback instead of his).
Patty Marleau is nicknamed Mr. Shark for a reason. He gave the Sharks a key franchise icon due to his knack for scoring goals and showing up in the postseason. My first memories of Marleau were his hat tricks against St. Louis and Colorado in the 2003-04 season. I knew we had a special player right then and there. His professionalism this season in particular has stood out and been very beneficial for our current young Sharks.
Joe Pavelski is hockey’s example of the American Dream. He was a seventh round pick with nothing handed to him. All of a sudden, he plays a key role in 2006-07 for a brief stretch, and he hasn’t looked back since. That key role was encapsulated by his buzzer beater goal against Detroit in December 2006, and capped off with one of his last highlights as a Shark being a buzzer beater goal against Winnipeg in March 2019. His leadership was the reason why the Sharks made a Cup Final run in 2016, and the team’s respect for him is why they advanced past Vegas. His return in Game 7 against Colorado was simply incredible. He is why the Sharks got the job done and earned the right to face St. Louis.
Owen Nolan is an icon in Sharks history, and longtime fans had great respect for him. I believe he was on the team post-expansion years and really laid the foundation for a playoff culture. I can’t say much more than that because I never saw him play closely since I was a little kid, but I feel like my dad would be on board with him being included.