PENTICTON, British Columbia -- Retiring after 16-plus seasons in the NHL, Mike Ricci still had ice in his veins.
So when San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson contacted and offered him a role with the organization he'd spent seven memorable seasons with, the decision was an easy one.
"You don't really know how much you're going to miss the game until you leave it altogether," Ricci said. "I loved hockey and knew I wanted to stay involved in some capacity. Retirement wasn't easy, but Doug and the Sharks were gracious enough to offer me an opportunity to remain a Shark for a little while longer.
"I couldn't say no."
Ricci is the team's development coach, which means he's playing a pivotal role at the Young Stars Classic. Working closely alongside Sharks coach Todd McLellan and the scouting staff, Ricci is on the ice instructing players and providing them with instant feedback on how to improve.