At Thursday’s morning skate, new Sharks blueliner Jay Leach practiced with his new club for the first time. For Leach, it simply is old hat practicing with a new team.
His list of teams since turning professional out of Providence College is long. He’s skated for Mississippi, Augusta, Long Beach and Trenton in the ECHL, Springfield, Providence, Bridgeport, Norfolk, Portland and Lowell in the AHL and Boston, Tampa Bay, New Jersey and Montreal in the NHL. It truly has been a long and winding road for the 30-year-old hockey player.
Not that he was complaining as he met the media just a few hours after arriving in San Jose.
“I couldn’t have gotten a better place to play,” said Leach. “I just said hi to the guys and got out of their way. This is my third new (locker) room in the last two months.”
Actually, Leach is appreciative of the spots he’s been and views each as an opportunity.
“I was fortunate to play in Montreal last month and Lou (Lamoriello) was good to me and gave me a shot,” said Leach.
The immediate plan for Leach is to practice a bit and initiate himself into San Jose’s style of play.
“I hope to slide under the radar and hope they keep going,” said Leach of the Sharks winning ways. “I’ve got to learn the system a bit. This is more or less a break in period.”
Leach is not worried about when he will get his chance. Games may not happen right away, but at some point he plans to get a chance at HP Pavilion.
“When needed, I’ll be ready,” said Leach.
The only tough part of coming to the Sharks is his wife is an on-air talent for NESN and her job is based Boston.
“She is the studio host for the Bruins and Red Sox,” said Leach. “She’s a trooper. She was in Montreal when this all went down. We’re long distance newlyweds.”
Leach had not been to northern California previously, but last summer had plans, that fell through, to visit the redwoods. At least now he’s closer to that.
VESCE BACK Ryane Vesce got the call back to San Jose and will likely be in the lineup with Jed Ortmeyer expected to miss the contest.
NEXT GAME The Sharks will host St. Louis Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be found the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.