Day 1 of free agency was quiet for the San Jose Sharks, but Doug Wilson did bring back fan favorite Stefan Noesen for one year, $925K.
These are the highlights from Noesen’s media availability, along with a Wilson comment about Noesen.
Doug Wilson, on what the San Jose Sharks saw in Noesen after Dallas cut him in the pre-season and Pittsburgh picked him up:
Watching him play in Pittsburgh, he was playing really well. So when we had the ability to acquire him, we thought he brought a lot to our team. He’s got size, skill, and versatility. And he’s a quality guy.
Stefan Noesen, on why he came back to the San Jose Sharks:
From the camaraderie in the locker room, I didn’t feel like an outsider coming in. They welcomed me with open arms.
I loved the fact that they brought back Bob. I thought Bob has a pretty good vision for what he wants out of his team. There was no better fit.
Noesen, on New Jersey letting him walk last summer, Dallas cutting him in the pre-season, and how new Penguins assistant coach Mike Vellucci revived his career:
Last year was kind of a gong show for me to begin with. But it ended on the best note it possibly could end on, being with San Jose.
I didn’t get qualified with New Jersey. I understood, but I was still shocked. I took it personally. We had that long free agency that we didn’t sign until a PTO. That just happened because I was in Dallas, training. Jim Nill saw me.
Winded up getting cut from Dallas, first couple rounds of cuts.
I called one of my old coaches, Mike Vellucci with Wilkes-Barre. I said hey I’m looking for a place to play, is there a way you could get me on your team.
He told me if I went there, he’d get me back to the NHL. I fully believed him. He’s the guy who got me drafted [in the first round in 2014]. He got me to the point where I got comfortable. Got me to where I am now, got me that contract signed with Pittsburgh, then found my way over to San Jose. Fit right in.
Mike and I go back to when I was 14 years old when I was playing for Compuware. He really saw something in me that other people didn’t.
And same thing happened there: He knew how to use me. He knew how to use my strengths. Honestly, it’s kind of the same way that [Boughner] uses me. He sees what makes me better as a player. That’s one of the main reasons why I wanted to be back.
I trust Mike with my game and my life and everything. He’s still a good friend to me. He was even invited to my wedding.
I’m very happy he’s finally getting his chance in the NHL.
Noesen, on what he brings to San Jose:
Bring some toughness, bring some leadership, bring some all-around solid play. That’s what I feel that I can do. I feel like I’m kind of like a utility knife. I can do whatever it is they need me to do.
Noesen, on if yesterday’s tweet was a hint about today’s good news:
That had nothing to do with anything related to the Sharks or the NHL. It had everything to do with stuff going on in my personal life, things at home, and my company that we started. Things were looking up with all that stuff.
I was just in a good mood, I had 2 or 3 coffees, and I was feeling great. It was more of a question of how everybody was doing. Everyone can read into whatever they want to read into it.
Noesen, on if “Hakuna Matata” will be his goal song next year:
I don’t know; we’ll see. I might leave it to a fan vote, so I’m going to guess that’s probably going to be yes.
USNTDP coach Nick Fohr on Bordeleau’s Hockey IQ, Chmelevski’s Skating, Labanc’s Confidence
It’s Thomas Bordeleau Week here at San Jose Hockey Now!
Today, Sheng Peng joined the podcast, and we really got into detail on Bordeleau with his former USA Hockey National Team Development Program coach Nick Fohr.
Bordeleau isn’t the first San Jose Sharks prospect that Fohr has coached — the current USNTDP Associate Coach has worked with Kevin Labanc, Scott Reedy, and Sasha Chmelevski.
Here’s a select transcription from this fun, informative interview — Fohr shares Bordeleau’s greatest strengths and weaknesses, discusses Chmelevski’s flawed-but- improving skating, and reveals what Labanc’s USNTDP teammates gave him a hard time about.
Nick Fohr, on Thomas Bordeleau’s greatest strength and weakness:
In Thomas’s case, he’s a very crafty, skilled forward that competes pretty hard. That was something he really improved on in the two years with us.
He really loves to rely on this skill.
He’s a cerebral player. He really takes in the game. He reads plays well up and down the ice sheet.
That being a strength of his, one of his weaknesses, he relies on his skill too much. That was something we talked with Thomas a lot: Although you are a skilled hockey player, you are not skilled enough to make it in the NHL on skill alone. You have to develop a little more bite, a little more aggressiveness. You gotta round your game out a little bit more defensively. Commit to those things and not rely on just being a skilled player. Those players don’t make it in the NHL anymore. They don’t. They used to. At least they don’t make it for a long, extended period of time.
Fohr, on Bordeleau’s hockey IQ:
If you ask a coach or a scout or a GM, what are your three most important things? People almost always throw hockey IQ at you.
For me, with Thomas, where you really see it, when you see the intelligence, when he gets the puck on his stick, his ability to manipulate the other team, manipulate the defender. For example, on the power play, when he has the puck on his tape, the way he postures the puck, the way he holds the puck on his stick, the way he postures his body, will tell one story to the defender, to get the defender to move. [That] opens up the play he really wants to make.
That’s a really, really, really hard skill. It takes a lot of hockey intelligence to do that, to understand the messages you’re sending to a defender. It’s a really elite trait of his.
Fohr, on Sasha Chmelevski’s skating:
The knock on him was always his skating. He kind of skated really wide. He didn’t recover his skating very well, so his feet were always really, really wide. So people were always worried about his skating, his ability to get around the rink.
I think he’s fixed that a little bit, as I’ve seen him over the years. But he’s similar to a Bordeleau type from his ability to make plays. They actually make pretty good comparables.
Fohr, on Kevin Labanc’s Twitter handle:
By the way, he’s got one of my favorite Twitter handles out there with @Str8ToTheBanc. He had that when he was here and I remember the guys gave him a hard time about it. But I loved it.
Fohr, on if Labanc’s USNTDP teammates were jealous that Labanc has such a cool last name:
(laughs) That was probably part of it. To have the cunning to him to be able to do that, right? Kevin never lacked the confidence to pull something off like that, that’s for sure.
Make sure to listen to the entire interview: It’s well worth your time if you’re interested in the draft process for USNTDP players (6:00), which San Jose Sharks scout concentrates on the USNTDP, what Bordeleau’s game looks like (10:00), and how his father (former NHL player Sebastien Bordeleau) helped shape his game (16:00). We also compare Labanc and Bordeleau (23:30) and get a Chmelevski update from Fohr (30:00).
BREAKING: Sharks Are Talking to Conor Sheary
When free agency began on October 9th, the question was, “Who would the San Jose Sharks sign?”
After almost two weeks of relative inactivity — besides adding familiar faces Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto and losing franchise icon Joe Thornton — the question became, “What’s Doug Wilson doing?”
San Jose Hockey Now has good news for Sharks fans: Wilson is still active in free agency. So who’s he looking at — Conor Sheary, Erik Haula, or Mikael Granlund? We’ve got the scoop!
Who’s Best Option for Sharks’ Third-Line Center?
Kyle and JD put out a call for a mailbag and you responded! So much so that we had to ask for some help for your San Jose Sharks questions. We are joined by SB Nation’s Sie Morley to talk hockey, among other things. We look at reverse retro jerseys and why they are a thing, the Sharks goaltending, and if Martin Jones can bounce back (8:30). Also, who will be the third-line center (12:15) and how will San Jose Sharks fans treat Joe Thornton when they see him in blue (18:30)? Check out the podcast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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