Let’s start with team first. Adler Mannheim, which is essentially the Mannheim Eagles after translation, is a member club of the German Elite League. The play in a beautiful building that has SAP as its title sponsor, a company which is also a proud Sharks corporate partner. That is not the reason or the trip though.
Once the NHL selected San Jose to take part in the overseas games, San Jose began looking for a place to play prior to the regular season contests. That has become standard operating procedure for clubs jumping across the Atlantic.
Other preseason games are taking place in Russia, Northern Ireland and Sweden, so the preseason contests are spread throughout the continent. Mannheim offered a first class facility with a terrific atmosphere and fantastic amenities. The selection of Mannheim has proven to be a wise choice as the game has been locked in as a sellout for some time now.
The Eagles are a traditional power in the German Elite League and won the regular season and tournament championship as recently as 2007.
As for the make-up of the Mannheim franchise, they list 27 players on the roster with the divide being 18 Germans and nine Canadians. The biggest name on the roster that will click with NHL fans is netminder Fred Brathwaite.
There are some other unique ties for the Sharks. Mario Scalzo is a form youth baseball teammate of Torrey Mitchell
. Worcester fans might recall a name from the past when the city was affiliated with the St. Louis Blues as Justin Papineau is an Eagle.
Mannheim is where former Shark Marcel Goc honed his trade and now Nikolai Goc plays for the Eagles.
The Sharks coaching staff attended Mannheim’s Friday night contest to get a feel for the opponent.
Dany Heatley’s brother is currently playing in Germany, with the same club their father played for. A teammate of Heatley’s father stopped by the afternoon practice to say hello.
ON THE WEB
The contest from Germany will be carried in two formats online. Fans can listen to Dan Rusanowsky and Jamie Baker at 10:30 a.m. PT on Saturday or they can watch it, but with German announcers, also available on sjsharks.com.
Kids looking to get all the benefits of the FINatical Kids Club should sign up before registration closes.
For $25.00, members will receive a custom FKC backpack, an FKC hat signed by #8 Joe Pavelski
, water bottle, a birthday card and much more!!!
Besides the great merchandise, members have access to the FINatical Kids Club website through www.sjsharkie.com and www.sjsharks.com. FKC members also have access to exclusive discounts and events hosted by the club and plenty of opportunities to win autographed memorabilia.
To sign up, click here