One day in March, thirty-four Sharks fans got a taste of what it is like to switch places with their professional hockey counterparts for one day at the Shark for a Day Fantasy Hockey Camp. In addition to great hockey and fun, the event raised over $10,000 for The Sharks Foundation and Sharks Alumni Association Charities.
Among the former Sharks coming in to skate with the fans and to help raise money for The Sharks Foundation and local hockey programs were: Gary Suter, Ron Stern, Jeff Odgers, Stephane Matteau, Jamie Baker, Dave Maley, and Bernie Nicholls.
The day began with the participants taking part in a morning skate on HP Pavilion Ice prior to the Sharks morning skate, which was run by Sharks Assistant Coaches Tim Hunter and Rob Zettler. A key component of the Fantasy Camp was that the participants would be able to have a day similar to what an actual NHL player would have on a game day.
Following their time on the ice, the campers watched the Sharks and the visiting Dallas Stars run through their own drills in preparation for that evening's game. Then it was on to the pre-game meal at The Grill at HP Pavilion where the skaters loaded up on a pre-game meal provided by OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE. While taking a few moments to let the meal settle, a question and answer session was held which gave the camp attendees unlimited access to the years of knowledge available from the former Sharks, Sharks Assistant General Manager Wayne Thomas and the team's broadcast crew of Drew Remenda, Dan Rusanowsky and Pete Stemkowski.
Then it was game time with the teams evenly divided between the Sharks and the campers. In what turned out to be a lopsided hockey game – complete with the team’s entrance on to the ice through the Shark Head – Team Teal skated away with a convincing 12-4 victory in front of a crowd of family and friends. Win or lose, however, all of the participants had a great time.
Following the game, the Shark for a Day participants and Alums reconvened at the Frank Jirik room at HP Pavilion where everyone relaxed and enjoyed some great food and drinks. Later, the group traveled to a HP Pavilion penthouse suite where they watched the Sharks defeat the Dallas Stars 2-1 in a thrilling overtime victory.
The day’s events left all participants with an experience they will never forget and a new appreciation for the demands of an NHL hockey player. Even with the non-stop action the campers went through, all still found it pretty exciting to be a Shark – even if it is for only one day.
This year's Shark for a Day Fantasy Camp is scheduled for April 1, 2006. To get your name on the waiting list for the once in a lifetime opportunity, please contact Jeff Cafuir at email@example.com.
Sharks Assistant Coach Tim Hunter rallies the troops during the morning skate
Participating Sharks Alums Gary Suter, Bernie Nicholls, Gaetan Duchesne, Ron Stern, Dave maley, Jeff Odgers, Jamie Baker and Stephane Matteau
Participants skate through the Shark Head before the game!
Former Shark Jeff Odgers celebrates a goal by Fantasy Camp participant Derek Perez
Sharks alum Dave Maley celbrates a Team White goal with Fantasy Campers John Campbell and Bob Hencken