In the 20th anniversary season of the Sharks, a visitor from the first year appeared in the Vancouver press box to send his support. That would be the Sharks inaugural head coach George Kingston. Still involved in hockey at various levels, Kingston was in town for a more important reason, to help watch his grandkids.
However, with the Sharks playing such a pivotal contest, Kingston decided to drop in for a hockey game and “see the Sharks extend.”
Kingston looks like he could still run an ultra marathon and there is a reason for that – he still enjoys the races.
“Still ultra. You know why?” Kingston asked. “The marathon is a grinding repetition on asphalt. Ultra, we’re in the woods and if you get lost in the woods, it’s o.k.”
Hockey wise, Kingston has been active with the Mexican and Norwegian national teams and lent his expertise to an NHL club’s training camp this past fall.
“I worked with Norway a bit and a lot with Mexico and their under-20 and their senior nats,” Kingston said. “I always promised the guy who is the national coach that I would go down and help him out when the time was right.”
Still, when it comes to NHL hockey, Kingston is bonded with the team he helped launch.
“I have great memories of San Jose and always will have,” Kingston said. “The players I’ve worked with over time, that’s the most rewarding part of the whole thing. Doug Wilson of course was one of my favorites. Dean Evason and Kelly Kisio, what those guys did for the Sharks in our first two years was unbelievable.”
Maybe in a few years there could be a gathering of that first team, but Kingston says other things have to come first.
“Doug talked about it, but he’s too busy trying to win the Stanley Cup and I’m right there with him,” Kingston said. “He’s got to do that first.”
His coaching record may not have been great, mostly because of the talent he had (or didn’t have), but whatever happens with the Sharks this year, Kingston should feel like he is a part San Jose’s success.