The San Jose Sharks are an NHL franchise in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.
San Jose joined the NHL in 1991, as part of a new expansion program. Arturs Irbe, Pat Falloon led the team through their initial struggles, and helped turn the Sharks around by 1993. The additions of Ray Whitney, Sergei Makarov, Igor Larionov and defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh led the Sharks to the second round of the playoffs. They would make the playoffs again the following season, but finished last in the Division in ’95-96.
San Jose would spend the next few seasons adding key pieces to their organization, many of whom are still in the organization. Kyle McLaren and Owen Nolan were added to provide veteran depth to the team, while there were a number of young talents picked up along the way. The Sharks won a couple of division titles in 2002 and 2004, but were unable to make a significant run to the Stanley Cup, with their best shot coming in 2004, when they lost the Conference Finals to Calgary.
After the lockout, star center Joe Thornton was acquired from the Boston Bruins. With Thornton, young star forward Jonathan Cheechoo blossomed into one of the top caliber forwards in the league. The team that San Jose had created over the past few seasons played well in front of standout goalies Evgeny Nabokov and Vesa Toskala. The team has been one of the most successful teams in the past few seasons, but have struggled to convert their regular season success into playoff wins. The farthest that San Jose has made it in the playoffs is the second round.
The Sharks added a number of big name stars in the 2008 offseason like Rob Blake, Dan Boyle and Jeremy Roenick, in hopes that veteran leadership would help them over the top in the 2008-09 season.
San Jose plays their home games out of the HP Pavilion, also known as the Shark Tank, which seats 17,496.
Stanley Cups won: none
Notable Players: Brian Campbell, Jonathan Cheechoo, Pat Falloon, Johan Garpenlov, Scott Hannan, Arturs Irbe, Igor Larionov, Sergei Makarov, Patrick Marleau, Evgeni Nabokov, Owen Nolan, Joe Thornton, Doug Wilson