This is the first in a series of stories asking fans to vote on the best Sharks player at each position as the club enters its 20th year. Today begins with the right wingers. (Note that players must have spent two years with the Sharks organization and two years in the designated position to be considered. No player was placed in multiple positions.)
This is an area where the Sharks have excelled the most with regards to NHL recognition. Highlighting the group are All-Stars Owen Nolan, Jonathan Cheechoo and Teemu Selanne, along with another talented right wing in Sergei Makarov, who if you could count his international career would be the most decorated of all. It also will be interesting to see where Dany Heatley fits in when voting for the 25th anniversary season begins.OWEN NOLAN (568 GP, 206 G, 245 A, 451 PTS, 934 PIM)
|Owen Nolan |
For quite some time, Nolan owned what seemed to be every Sharks offensive mark. As the Sharks transitioned from a team hoping to just make the playoffs to one expecting to make noise in the playoffs, Nolan was the flag bearer.
Nolan was the first Shark to hit the 40-goal plateau, with 44 in 2000-01. He capped off the season by scoring a Game Seven game-winner against St. Louis. That goal was just one of six he scored in that quarterfinal series that featured the No. 8 Sharks against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Blues. While playing injured in the next round, he scored twice in three games against Dallas.
Nolan still ranks third all-time in games played (568), second in goals (206) and third in assists (245) and points (451). He also still ranks second in penalty minutes (934). Nolan was a member of the 2002 gold medal-winning Team Canada squad at the Winter Olympics and represented the Sharks in four All-Star Games. JONATHAN CHEECHOO (440 GP, 165 G, 126 A, 291 PTS, 304 PIM)
|Jonathan Cheechoo |
Quite simply, Cheechoo had the single greatest goal scoring year in the history of the franchise, lighting the lamp 56 times in 2005-06 and being the only Shark to lead the League in goal scoring and won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. That was the middle of a three-year run where he led the Sharks in goals over three consecutive years (28, 56 and 37).
Cheechoo ranks among the franchise leaders in games played and sits third all-time in goals scored (165), ninth in assists (126), fifth in points (291) and second in game-winning goals (36). He also holds the franchise mark with nine hat tricks. SERGEI MAKAROV (123 GP, 40 F, 52 A, 92 PTS, 118 PIM)
|Sergei Makarov |
Makarov became the first 30-goal scorer in franchise history and potted the first hat trick for San Jose at what is now HP Pavilion at San Jose. Working his magic with Igor Larionov, one can only imagine what the duo would have done in their prime. Makarov produced some great regular season memories, but his legacy is the postseason.
When San Jose made their mark as a franchise by topping top-seeded Detroit in the unforgettable 1994 postseason run, Makarov’s six goals in seven games that put Jamie Baker in position to score the quarterfinal series-winning goal. In the second round against Toronto, he scored the game-winner to give San Jose a 3-2 series lead in Game Five. The next year, Makarov only had five shots in the quarterfinal round against Calgary, but scored twice.
Makarov was around for just two seasons, but his heroics have given Sharks fans hope that their team can win any playoff series, regardless of the odds.
TEEMU SELANNE (176 GP, 64 G, 67 A, 131 PTS, 70 PIM)
|Teemu Selanne |
This is a tough one for fans as he was a rival for so long, but will always be remembered for his Game Seven missed wraparound against Colorado that could have put the team in their first Western Conference Final in 2002. That being said, Selanne’s time here was productive. He posted five goals in that series against Colorado.
In his two full seasons in San Jose, he either led or tied for the team lead in goals.
Vote for your favorites on the poll via the Sharks Official Facebook Page or at SJSHARKS.com.