This is the seventh in a series of articles asking fans to vote on the best Sharks player at each position as the club enters its 20th year. Today it’s all about the muscle.
There are five enforcers that stand out in Sharks franchise history: Link Gaetz, Jeff Odgers, Owen Nolan, Scott Parket and Marty McSorely. Who is the toughest of them all? You be the judge.
LINK GAETZ Gaetz became a fan favorite while in San Jose after coming over to the Sharks in the 1991 NHL Expansion Draft. The 6-foot-2, 223-pound defensemen set a Sharks record with 328 penalty minutes in 1991-92, even though he only played in 48 games that season. A devastating car accident in April 1992 derailed his young NHL career and led to an eventual departure from San Jose.
JEFF ODGERS Odgers was never drafted into the NHL, but played his way through try outs and was signed by San Jose in time to skate in 61 games of the Sharks inaugural season. The gritty-winger went on to play in over 800 games in the NHL, sticking around in San Jose from 1991-96. During his time with the Sharks, Odgers set a career high in points scored (27) and served over 1,000 penalty minutes in just 334 games in teal.
OWEN NOLAN Nolan played in San Jose from 1995-2003, after arriving in a trade from Colorado that saw Sandis Ozolinsh depart to the Avalanche. Nolan was a physical force for the Sharks, earning the captains “C” during his tenure. The power forward made a habit with his productions in San Jose, collecting over 100 penalty minutes and 70-plus games played for five consecutive seasons, from 1995-2000. His last season in that span was perhaps his most balanced as a pro, scoring a career high 84 points in the regular season and added another 10 points and six penalty minutes in 10 post-season games.
SCOTT PARKER Parker was acquired in a trade from Colorado in June 2003 after winning a Stanley Cup Championship with the Avalanche. His reputation as a feared fighter and enforcer earned him the nickname “The Sheriff”. In three seasons with the Sharks, Parker punished opponents, accumulating 161 penalty minutes in 71 total games played with San Jose.
MARTY McSORLEY McSorley spent a short time in San Jose as an enforcer for the Sharks. In two seasons (1996-98), the defensemen racked up 326 penalty minutes in 113 games. His most notorious game in teal came against his former squad, the Oilers. On March, 24, 1997, McSorley set a Sharks record with 39 penalty minutes in one game against Edmonton.