For Kent Huskins, his trade to the San Jose Sharks still hasn’t quite kicked in as it would have in normal circumstances. The veteran defenseman who helped the Ducks win a Stanley Cup wants to do the same for San Jose, but due to a lower body injury, he hasn’t dressed once. Not only has the injury forced him to miss games, but he hasn’t even been able to practice until recently.
“When you get traded, you want to contribute and I’ve been watching from the sidelines,” said Huskins. “I’m a little anxious to get back.”
He’s hoping that could change and there are now positive signs as he’s skating with the Sharks and departed to Alberta with the Sharks on Sunday.
The fact of life in the NHL is most team bonding occurs on the road. At home, players usually depart the practice rink for their families and other commitments and don’t see each other as much. When they are on the road, teammates stick together like glue, whether it’s a team meal, movie or a trip to the mall. Huskins simply hasn’t been able to be a part of that until now.
“I’m going on the trip and it’s a little exciting,” said Huskins. “I’m just ready to be around the team a little more. I’ll be taking in all the practices, skating with the guys, going to the meals and hanging out at the hotel. That is where the bonding takes place. It’s been a little frustrating, but everyone here has made the transition easy.”
“A lot of guys are anxious to get to know Kent,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. “It’s been hard even for me to get to know him.”
The one comforting part about the trade is that his Anaheim teammate Travis Moen made the trek north as well and that has helped with the transition.
“That made things a little easier,” said Huskins. “The guys here have been awesome, but it helped knowing one guy really well.”
There is no hard date for Huskins’ debut, but with him now travelling with the team, it is now much closer than it was last month when he came to Silicon Valley.
“I’m getting my strength and all the pain is gone,” said Huskins. “I could be ready pretty soon.”
The Stanley Cup winner notes that he still needs time to adjust to the Sharks system, but practicing will be much more beneficial than simply watching games from the press box.
“Another thing is learning the system,” said Huskins. “I’ve picked up a few things from sitting in on meetings, but skating will help more.”
There are seven games left for Huskins to get a chance at playing before the playoffs begin and he would like nothing more than to get his feet wet before Stanley Cup Playoffs kick in.
However, even if he doesn’t debut prior to the postseason, at least he’ll be relying on the best kind of playoff experience.
MARLEAU STAYS BACK
On the injury front, McLellan noted that Sharks Captain Patrick Marleau
would be staying back in San Jose.
“He’s probably not coming on the trip,” said McLellan. “(It will take) a little time for him to heal (lower body injury). It was a very innocent play. We’re not talking a month or anything like that.”
McLellan noted that both Ryane Clowe
and Rob Blake would be travelling north as well since there is a potential for them to skate.
Cheechoo skated at the Sunday practice and could end up back in the lineup as he is tracking in the right direction and was a game time decision on Saturday.
San Jose will visit Calgary at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday and the game will be on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.