Sharks' Scott Thornton has cousin Joe along for the ride
By RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press
Now cousins Joe and Scott Thornton are playing together in San Jose, they'll have to find common interests off the frozen pond.
Joe might want to get some bicycle shorts.
While the St. Thomas native was skiing the Swiss Alps with Rick Nash during the hockey lockout, cousin Scott rode in monthly cycling challenges leading to The Death Ride, a 206-kilometre bike trip that features 4,877 metres over five mountain passes near Lake Tahoe in Nevada.
Each year, about 3,000 riders start, but only about 20 per cent of them finish.
Thornton was among that minority, completing the course in nine hours.
"It's called the Death Ride for a reason," he told the San Francisco Chronicle.
"You have to play tricks with yourself to get motivated. It was another carrot to dangle in front of myself."
The offseason training led to Scott Thornton, at 34 the Sharks' oldest player this season, to start the season in animal condition.
"He's a freak," San Jose head coach Ron Wilson said. "Totally off the charts."
The six-foot-three, 225-pounder fell in love with the pedal set about six years ago after watching Lance Armstrong win a Tour de France. Fittingly, Tuesday's San Jose-Atlanta game aired on Outdoor Life Network, the channel with the latest news on pastimes such as cycling, hiking and cliffhanging.
Since Joe hit San Jose, the Sharks have won all three games they've played, but Scott is still spinning his wheels offensively. He has just one assist in those three games to Joe's six points and Jonathan Cheechoo's three goals.
Still, he knows the production will come as long as he's on Joe's line.
"I obviously know him," Scott told the Washington Post after the trade. "He's one of the top 10 players in the league. He's a big, powerful forward. I expect him to be a giant on special teams."
I am going to be horrified (among other things) if Thorty and Joe appear in spandex together on "Shark Byte".
Sturm: `It was tough to leave'
EX-SHARK RECALLS DAY HE WAS TRADED, TIME WITH SAN JOSE
By Victor Chi
Marco Sturm was driving through San Jose earlier this week when he looked up at a banner hanging from a streetlight. He saw a picture of himself on a ``Sharks Territory'' sign looking right back at him.
``That was kind of weird,'' Sturm said. ``I'm sure it'll be Joe hanging up there pretty soon.''
Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau returned to San Jose for a couple days between games to see their families, gather belongings and take care of personal business for the first time since being dealt last week to Boston in the Joe Thornton mega-deal.
Of the three, Sturm, had been with the Sharks the longest. His rookie season was 1997-98, which was also Darryl Sutter's first as coach, and Sturm grew to be a core player in the franchise.
``I'm glad I could start my career in San Jose,'' said Sturm, a first-round pick in 1996. ``I got to be around so many great players and great people. After the trade, I got so many calls from people in San Jose. I couldn't call everybody back, but I want to say thank you to the people in San Jose.''
While Stuart and Primeau might continue to spend their off-seasons in San Jose, Sturm said he plans to relocate to Boston. His wife and son remain in San Jose but should join him in Boston in time to celebrate Christmas together.
Sturm had just bought a $1.75 million home in Willow Glen, but plans to put it on the market after the holidays.
``I moved in only a month ago, but that's what happens to a lot of guys,'' he said. ``You find a place and you get traded.''
(Earlier this season, one of Sturm's best friends, former Shark Jeff Friesen, was traded from the New Jersey Devils to Washington on the day he closed on his new house in New Jersey.)
Aside from the initial shock of being pulled from the lineup and informed of the trade, Sturm said his most emotional moment came this week as he started heading to the airport to rejoin the Bruins.
``It was tough to leave, I can tell you that,'' Sturm said. ``When I left my house . . . you can think about it, you can talk about it, but when that moment comes, oh, it was hard. Probably the toughest time I had in my hockey career.''
Sturm left San Jose with the distinction of having scored a goal in his first game as a Shark (Oct. 4, 1997, vs. Chicago) and his last (Nov. 26, vs. Detroit).
Then he had a goal and an assist in his first game as a Bruin, and has four points in four games since the trade.
Stuart, who had been with the Sharks since 1999-2000, has contributed two assists.
``Obviously, there's two sides to it,'' Stuart told Boston reporters. ``Part of you is sad that you have to leave and move on. The other part of you is excited that you get to have a fresh start, and come to a great city like Boston.''
In addition to teammates and friends, Sturm said he will miss some of the everyday things about San Jose such as filling up on sandwiches at La Villa.
All three former Sharks called Aldo's Ristorante, an Italian establishment on Winchester Boulevard in Los Gatos, their favorite place for a pre-game meal.
``That was our restaurant,'' Sturm said. ``We became good friends with the owners, too. When we were back in town, we met there for a last time.''
``Penne chicken,'' Sturm said.
``Just like always.''
*cries* I love Marco so much. I think everyone loved him. *cries some more*
Oh man, tonight's game. I was kind of fearing/dreading it a little. I really didn't want it to be a meteoric crash. A close loss, I would still have been okay, but a blowout would have been pretty devastating.
I can rationalize all the other games.
Buffalo: trade emotion, Noronen (who just came back from a groin injury) in goal.
Toronto: the Leafs get a huge boost from emotional games, and playing a WC team isn't very emotional.
Atlanta: third string goalie, other key injuries.
Florida: played in Dallas the night before, then got stuck on runway for hours, reached hotel at 5 AM morning of game, Luongo not in goal, demoralized team.
But Carolina, a team that's been playing strongly; the only game I've seen them play in was a loss to Atlanta, but I've seen the highlights of some of their other games. They could have been the team to make the Sharks fall apart.
And the Canes played so well, especially in the first period. Great offensive pressure, great defensive play (Sharks didn't get a SOG until 7 minutes in) and great PK. I'd say that's the best a Sharks opponent has looked all season. I wouldn't say that they imploded later or anything. But the Sharks still won. *impressed*
Looking on thefeeder.com forums, found some fun stuff:
great hit by Ekman... Wait... EKMAN? -- exactly my thought process, haha!
Murray must've shared some ancient Swedish secret with Nils. -- explanation by a guy who has an image with "one way ticket from Sweden to pain" as his sig
Petr scored a goal!!!
"When you play this game and you have fun, it's an awesome game," Sykora said. "Things were not really going well lately and I just wanted to go back to the game and get a goal and be happy again."
Video spam will come tomorrow, including Petr's linemates expressing their love for him, and one of the slashiest Shark Byte segments yet!