SAN JOSE, Calif. - Two days after being knocked out of the playoffs with a Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, the San Jose Sharks started the all-too-familiar process of packing up for the summer before the Stanley Cup finals have even begun.
The mood at Sharks Ice on Thursday was a little different than years past during a stretch of nine straight playoff appearances without a championship.
Along with the disappointment of another year without a Stanley Cup, there was optimism that came from a strong close to the regular season, a first-round sweep of Vancouver and a razor-tight seven-game loss to the defending champion Kings that gives the organization hope for the immediate future.
I mean, hockey had to change the rules because of Marty, and that's impressive. I got two Stanley Cup rings because of the guy. Look at the banners of [Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko] and Marty is right up there when you think about the New Jersey Devils; he was part of the core group and he'll go down as one of the greatest goalies ever.
— New Jersey Devils center Scott Gomez on former teammate Martin Brodeur, who will announce his retirement Thursday