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Randy Empties His Mailbag

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks
My 10 pound mailbag has 20 pounds worth stuffed into it. Let’s get busy.
Dear Randy and Drew
Today is my hubby's 60th birthday. He is a dedicated Sharks fan and will be watching the next game on TV. I wondered if there was any way possible for a short birthday greeting to be made on the air to Tony B. of Gig Harbor?  That would really floor him!  We truly enjoy your broadcasts. We find some of the other hockey broadcast teams, although perhaps knowledgeable, dry, with no real rapport as you have.

Gig Harbor WA
Thanks for the kind words about the broadcasts, Jade. There are a lot of fine teams of hockey announcers out there but we’re glad you prefer our style. As you can imagine it’s difficult sending out birthday greetings to fans over the air. Once you start you can’t stop. We’d be spending so much time with it that it would cut into Drew’s and my precious “On Camera” time.  And we can’t be having that, can we? In the meantime Happy 60th to Tony B. of Gig Harbor and keep watching!
Randy and Drew

Do you think the good ice on the East Coast has a lot to do with the Sharks 9-1 record against the Eastern Conference? They seem a lot faster in the east and northern arenas. If so why don't the Sharks get better ice?

San Jose
There’s no question that the best ice in NHL arenas tends to be in climates where the relative humidity is lowest and the outside temperature is coldest. Most players feel the ice in cities like Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal is best and therefore the fastest. There might be something to your theory. The Sharks were built around team speed for this season and we saw that come to the forefront in games against teams like Ottawa. The outstanding crew at HP Pavilion puts a high priority on providing the best possible ice for the Sharks players. A massive dehumidification system was installed in the arena several years ago and the temperature inside the building is constantly being monitored and adjusted. Keep in mind that the Sharks won 5 of those 9 games against the east right inside the Shark Tank!
Randy & Drew
Thanks for being kind enough to autograph my Sharks jersey for me. I had the pleasure of  meeting you just outside of the Bell Center in Downtown Montreal recently. Even though it was cold and miserable outside, you stopped to chat with me none-the-less. Thanks guys - it's people like you who make it so easy to love the San Jose Sharks.

Windsor, Ontario
(2073 miles away from the Tank)
No sweat Adam!  Drew and I always enjoy meeting and chatting with Sharks fans wherever we go. It’s what we do. And don’t worry about the weather. Montreal wasn’t actually very bad at all. Remember that Drew lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (one of the coldest places on earth) and I went to high school in Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory where the men are men and the Huskies are nervous.
Drew and Randy

Is there a limit to the size of a goalie? Why does a team not dress a very fat (sumo wrestler type) goalie and be assured of almost no goals against?
There is no limit to the size of any player in the NHL. I know it may seem that a sumo-type goalie would be able to fill the entire net but it just doesn’t work that way. The goaltending position is all about agility. Players like Evgeni Nabokov have to possess cat like quickness to move from side to side, handle pucks coming around the back of the net, and cover the corners at the top of the goal as well as the bottom. A large immobile person just couldn’t do it. Back in the day the goalie used to typically be the least conditioned guy on the team. Today, the goaltender is usually the player in the best shape.
Randy and Drew
What has happened to the quality of the video for the Sharks broadcasts?
1)  White contrast -- game looks washed out.
2) Camera positions. Did you move the camera to the upper balconies to sell more seats? How about when you use a camera that's positioned behind the protective netting? And how about the camera behind the goal that can't follow the puck?
3) Camera work? Did you hire former Chess broadcasters? I do a better job with my son's roller hockey game than they are doing?

Henry from San Jose
1. A washed out picture probably has something to do with the quality of the cable or satellite signal that’s reaching your home or perhaps your set. The video that leaves HP Pavilion when we broadcast a game is of the highest quality, in fact many of the games are now in Hi-Def.
2. Of course our camera positions vary when we travel to other cities but the positions at HP Pavilion have been in place for many years and have not changed. As for the camera behind the goal it is a robotic device that has an operator who controls it with a toggle stick. I personally don’t care for that viewpoint when trying to follow the puck, like on a power play. But it is a matter or personal preference. Many people tell me they like that perspective.
3. When the Sharks are at home the camera operators are usually men and women that have years of experience covering NHL games. When we travel on the road we hire operators from the particular city. While we endeavor to find the best we can it is not always possible to duplicate the outstanding camera work we get at home.
Randy and Drew,
Why is that whenever the Sharks are making the plays and connecting on the passes, you always find something wrong with the team?  You make their opponents sound a lot better than the Sharks and that upsets the fans! The Sharks have come along way and to have you two idiots say some of the stupidest things about them makes me want to turn the sound off. You are the Sharks announcers. You should be for the Sharks!
San Martin
Well Andie, other than that, how do you like us?  In response to your complaints I would simply say this, we are for the Sharks.  Both Drew and I are employed by the team and it is clearly in our best interests when the team succeeds. Having said that we also have to deal with reality. Sometimes the Sharks lose and sometimes they don’t play well. If you want a broadcast filled with excuses about why the team isn’t performing you probably won’t enjoy ours. I will put Drew’s color commentary above everyone else’s in the NHL. He is extremely knowledgeable, very fair in his criticisms, and he has fun with it. Please keep watching. We’ll grow on you, I promise.
Dear Randy & Drew, 
I just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying the TV coverage this season!  I think you are two of the best TV guys going at the moment, on any team in the league.  Drew has some awesome insights and is always funny to listen to and Randy is very sharp and doesn't miss a thing.  I'll take you two against the best anyone else has to offer.
Palo Alto
Thanks Rex. After that last letter we both needed a big hug. We love you man.
Drew and Randy
When the referees make an obvious bad call during a game do they ever get fined or get kicked out of the business of officiating games?
The NHL constantly monitors the performance of the leagues referees and linesmen. Steven Walkom, a former NHL referee, is the leagues new Director of Officiating. His job is to maintain the quality of officiating. So far he’s done an outstanding job, in my opinion. Officials are frequently contacted by Walkom when they have made mistakes or when they have done their jobs well. There is an internal disciplinary system in place when officials mess up. At the end of each season officials are reviewed and graded. The best ones end up working playoff games. Sometimes officials are replaced due to poor performance, just like players, coaches and broadcasters.
Drew & Randy

You mentioned Nabby is racking up the penalty minutes. Where do his penalty minutes stack up in relation to other goaltenders?

 Julie, Saratoga
Currently here are the top penalty minute leaders among goaltenders.
Thomas Vokoun, Nashville  24 minutes, Phillipe Sauve, Calgary 21, J.S. Giguere, Anaheim 20, Marty Turco, Dallas 18, Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose 14, David Aebischer, Colorado 14.
And Finally,
Drew and Randy,

I'm flabbergasted, surprised, shocked and hurt all at the same time.  Your comments about Cricket were totally uncalled for !  No one knows the game?  Well, even a ten-year-old in countries like Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India can explain ALL the nuances to the game.  Sports ambassadors such as yourself should not run down another sport without knowing what it's about.  If you don't know the game, accept the fact but for crying out loud, but don't pass judgment.
Pradeep, San Jose
Let me say Pradeep that I am man enough to eat a little crow every once in a while. Our Anti-Cricket rant was “out of bounds.” (Is that a cricket term?)  Any sport that allows you to hold a long wooden object in your hand and smack the daylights out of a smaller object is fine by me. While I am concerned about a sport named after an insect, I must admit I don’t know an “All Rounder” from an “Away Swinger.”
The mailbag is empty but keep the cards and letters and emails coming in.
I’m Randy Hahn for the Seagate Technology In The Crease.
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