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Bigger Nets An Item NHL Is Considering

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

The NHL recently discussed the possibility of enlarging the goal nets, but most players, surprisingly even the forwards, aren’t necessarily high on the idea.

“I don’t know about that,” said Sharks Captain Patrick Marleau. “I would rather they make the goalie equipment smaller. I’m a traditionalist.”

When goaltender leg pads shrunk from 14 inches to 12 inches, there were some who still wanted the pads to go down to 10 inches.

Cheechoo echoed Marleau’s comments and added on more item.

“I would like to see it tested out before just putting it in,” said Cheechoo.

“If the net gets bigger, we don’t know what will happen,” said Steve Bernier

Netminder Vesa Toskala, as expected, was the most concerned about it.

“I would probably go back to Finland,” joked Toskala.

Toskala had a real concern though.

“The smaller equipment is one thing, but I’ve played the same angles all my life,” said Toskala. “That would be a bigger change for goaltenders than people think.”

Even the players who shoot from the furthest out, the defensemen, weren’t too excited about the possibility.

“It would be nice for the shooters, but I don’t know if it would be good for the game,” said Christian Ehrhoff.

For the first time all season, the Sharks will have a different netminder than expected from the regular rotation. Ron Wilson has been as steady as clockwork in rotating Toskala and Evgeni Nabokov every other contest, but Nabokov will start a second straight game Tuesday night against Anaheim.

Before people try reading too much into it, the decision was based upon recent time off, not on how either one is playing.

Toskala has not played nor had a hard skate in five days, while Nabokov played just three nights ago and, if not for the Christmas break, would likely be playing tonight or Wednesday night. No need getting two netminders off schedule.

“We decided it the other day,” said Ron Wilson. “I talked to Wayne Thomas and we thought it made sense. It is nothing more than common sense.”

And Toskala will be on the docket for Thursday’s game with Phoenix.

In a surprise at the morning skate, Joe Pavelski was informed that he has been give jersey number eight. As with most rookies called up, Pavelski wore what he was given during camp, which happened to be 53.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic is spending his first Christmas living outside Quebec, but the 19-year-old is not having to go without family. His mother, father and three brothers are all in town for the holidays. Like their elder brother, the 17-year-old and 14-year-old twins are all blueliners.

Combined with Matt Carle’s two younger brothers, Sharks GM Doug Wilson may be on to a new reason for drafting players.

The San Jose Jr. Sharks Girls program continues to enjoy success by sending more players to play college hockey. Congratulations to Amber Moore and Jessi Waters.

Amber Moore, captain of the U 19AAA girls team, was recruited by Cornell University NCAA Division 1 for Women’s Ice Hockey. She was recently accepted via the early decision process and will be joining the Big Red's hockey team for the 2007/08 campaign.

Jessi Waters of the U19 AAA girls team has been recruited by and accepted a scholarship to attend NCAA Division 1 Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

Congratulations to Amber and Jessi, two individuals who have exhibited the qualities necessary to achieve their dream – hard work on the ice and in the class room and tremendous attitude at and away from the rink.

Derek Joslin just signed a 3 year Entry-Level contract with the Club. Joslin, currently with Ottawa of the OHL, and 2005 fifth round pick of San Jose, has 22 points in 33 games this season.

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