Friday, September 21, 2007

The Sharks' Last D Spot

The 6th defenseman spot is a free-for-all. On one hand, we have the two guys that basically platooned it last year, Davison and Murray. On another hand, we have a crop of young guys and new guys fighting for it, like Semenov, Joslin, Norton, and our new hero, Brennan Evans. For the young ones out there, this is how you fight:

  • Pull the other guy's jersey over his head
  • Swing at will

And on the third hand, we have Sandis Ozolinsh. Grier pointed out this section of a recent article in the Mercury News:

If veteran defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh earns a spot on the roster, it'll be strictly based on what he shows in practice.

Under conditions imposed by the NHL because of his involvement in the league's substance-abuse program, Ozolinsh cannot play in any exhibition games. He pleaded guilty in June 2006 to driving while impaired.

Wilson said that Ozolinsh, who is attempting his comeback with the team that first drafted him, reported in excellent shape - something not lost on assistant coach Rob Zettler, a teammate during their stint together in San Jose.

"Zets says it's a totally different body than the last time he was here," Wilson said, adding that Ozolinsh is a strong skater whose outlet passes could prove valuable on the power play.

So the Sharks have to make a blind decision on a 35 year old guy who hasn't been effective in the NHL since 2003. The problem with all of this is, if whoever we choose doesn't work out, we could be in trouble. Any replacement player would probably be subject to clearing waivers.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

I'm not big on Ozo. Cut him loose, but keep his number handy if a top 6 guy goes down. Start the season with Semenov and Norton.