Skip to main content
The Official Site of the San Jose Sharks

Home for the Holidays

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
Christmas comes but once a year and the cliché is true even for those trying to fit the beloved holiday into the middle of a hockey season. But each season, players can’t help but glance ahead at their December schedule to see where their profession takes them come the 25th.


Fortunately this season, especially for those who have family in the local area, the Sharks were granted a bit of a reprieve from a demanding schedule as they are home for the holidays.

Yet on the eve of this Christmas, with the rare opportunity to nestle snuggly in their own bed, visions of a Stanley Cup will resiliently be dancing in their head.

So, to allow themselves the chance to get into the proper mood, the players shared some of their favorite memories from Christmases in the past and even some more recent.

Dan Boyle
Favorite Gift:
Probably growing up, it was the first time I got a Nintendo or something like that.

Favorite Memory:
I love Christmas. Christmas is probably my favorite holiday; waking up as a kid with the family. Now that I have kids of my own, it’s nice to see their experience. Even though my daughter’s just two, it’s nice to see her face in the morning.

Patrick Marleau
Favorite Gift:
As a kid, it was a Mario Lemieux highlight tape and a hockey stick.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
We open up one gift on the 24th, before Christmas.

Ryane Clowe
Favorite Gift:
When I was younger I got my first hockey net and my first Montreal Canadiens jersey. They were my favorite team growing up.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
On Christmas Day, after we have family dinner, we’d go around to all of my relative’s houses. We’d go around to all of my cousin’s houses to visit and have some Christmas cocktails.

Niclas Wallin
Favorite Gift:
As a kid, there was a snowmobile sitting in the garage. I was 14 years old. That is probably the best gift I ever had, probably the most surprising gift.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
It’s probably just the food and coming together, seeing the happy smiles. When you have your own kids you can see them and it reminds you of when you were a kid.

Marc-Eduoard Vlasic
Favorite Gift:
The only one I remember was a big hockey net, an NHL sized hockey net.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
We have six Christmas trees in the house, here. There’s one for when you watch TV; it’s beside the TV. There’s one in the main area. There’s one in our master bedroom. There’s one in my wife’s closet, then there’s two more outside. We like to decorate trees with the lights and everything.

Dany Heatley
Favorite Gift:
My first Easton Aluminum hockey stick.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
Decorating the tree is always fun. Christmas dinner is always a good time. It’s usually an early dinner and an all day thing. I like being around the family and having a good meal.

Douglas Murray
Favorite Gift:
Every year my family comes and visits me.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
I love the gift giving more than the receiving. Buying gifts is a lot of fun.

Scott Nichol
Favorite Gift:
Probably a bike; a BMX bike I got as a kid.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
We used to open our gifts Christmas day, then go play hockey on the pond in an outdoor rink. We usually opened our gifts then came back because mom always baked a Christmas brunch for us.

Jamal Mayers
Favorite Gift:
Usually hockey equipment like a stick or a new pair of skates. But, I distinctly remember getting this little Pac-Man game.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
We always get to open up one gift on Christmas Eve and disappointingly every year it was a pair of pajamas.

Devin Setoguchi
Favorite Gift:
My most exciting one was probably when I was little. I got this brand new bike, which I then lost.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
We always had a big turkey dinner with the family.

Torrey Mitchell
Favorite Gift:
It would have probably been hockey skates or hockey sticks. Those were big things that I was always excited to get.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
My grandfather would sit on this little stool and hand out the presents, one-by-one.

Benn Ferriero
Favorite Gift:
Probably a little fishing boat that I got when I was younger. It was a little wooden fishing boat. I was pretty pumped.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
We wouldn’t do anything too crazy; just go over to the cousin’s house. My aunt and uncle usually had a big Christmas dinner there.

Jamie McGinn
Favorite Gift:
My parents got us a couple of snowmobiles one year. They were old, beat up snowmobiles, but at least we could drive them. It was fun.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
I like watching Christmas movies and playing Christmas music and wearing my red Christmas pants around the house. This year, the red Christmas pants are going to be worn for three days straight, I think.

Antero Niittymaki
Favorite Gift:
It would be a bicycle or something like that.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
It was pretty basic Finnish Christmas; Santa Claus would come to my house in the day. That’s how we do it back home. He comes and gives a couple gifts.

Jason Demers
Favorite Gift:
It’s sort of a thing my mom does every year. We all get a set of pajamas. That’s pretty much the most constant thing we get.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
We wait until midnight and then open up all of our presents. Then we stay up, sleep in the next morning and have a big breakfast.

John McCarthy
Favorite Gift:
I got one of those little motorized cars that as a kid you can sit in. What are those called? It was battery operated. It was pretty cool.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
We all go to my grandparent’s house, usually on Christmas Eve and eat Chinese food. We have such a big family that it’s hard to cook for everyone. I have about 20 cousins.

Derek Joslin
Favorite Gift:
I’d have to say a toboggan.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
On Christmas Day all of our cousins, aunts, grandparents, come to our house. We have turkey and play family games and stuff.

Justin Braun
Favorite Gift:
It was probably my first Easton Synergy hockey stick.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
We always play cards on Christmas like Cribbage or whatever game my mom comes up with. Other than that, nothing too exciting.

Antti Niemi
Favorite Gift:
Probably some toy like a car or a truck.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
Not too many now that we’ve been away from home for a while. We still have a big ham for dinner.

Logan Couture
Favorite Gift:
Anything hockey related when I was younger.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
My brother and I used to run down and open up the gifts real early. We would wake up our parents. My mom would always cook this breakfast dish. I don’t even know what it was called. But, we’d eat that and have breakfast together.

Joe Thornton
Favorite Gift:
I was a big Transformer guy, so probably some Transformers. I usually got hockey equipment for Christmas as well.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
As a kid we would all go over to my grandma’s house and have dinner with all of the families. There were probably 30 people all together. That’s still going on to this day and it’s a good tradition that will hopefully never stop.

Joe Pavelski
Favorite Gift:
I guess the one you remember the most are the hockey sticks. You see it under the tree, wrapped. You know what it is and you just can’t wait to get to it.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
We would always go with my grandparents to wrap a tree. There were always Christmas trees in their backyard, so it was fun to go do that.

Kent Huskins
Favorite Gift:
It was probably a He-Man Castle from when I was a kid.

Favorite Memory or Tradition:
When I was little, back in Canada, my family would all get together and play family games. We would play a game called the “tray game”. There were always a couple of games; a couple of card games that everyone would play. It was always a lot of fun. Now, I’ve spent the last few Christmases with my wife’s family down in Orange County. They have a big family with lots of little cousins running around. On Christmas Day they always have a big Italian meal where my wife’s grandma cooks up pasta and meatballs.

View More