After successful NHL stints in Quebec City, Philadelphia, Denver, San Jose and Phoenix, Mike Ricci, one of Sharks fans all-time favorites is coming home. And home is San Jose.
That was the Ricci family’s plan even before the Sharks stepped up with the job offer.
“This is my home,” said Ricci. “We were looking at houses in May before Doug called me.”
Part of the reason the Riccis returned to San Jose is their feeling for the community. Click to watch Mike Ricci's interview with Dan Rusanowsky, exclusively on SJSHARKS.com (300K
“My only personal goals are to repay the Sharks organization and the Bay Area,” said Ricci. “San Jose has a big place in my heart. When I was traded to San Jose, my buddies said I wasn’t much of a California boy, but it’s now known as a hockey town and there is so much hunting and fishing. We want to raise our kids here.”
Now Ricci will handle front office work instead of skating out through the Sharks head.
“This is an organization with great coaches a great staff,” said Ricci. “Everyone is here to win.”
Ricci’s role is not 100 percent defined, but he will definitely have a hand in forming the Sharks both on and off-the-ice by bringing his lifetime of hockey experience to the table.
“I’ve seen the good and the bad and I’ll take the good and learn from the bad,” said Ricci. “The main thing is finding out what makes certain people tick. One reason it feels like the right job is helping the young kids. I’ll try a little of everything. It’s the same as a player; you do what you can to help the team win.”
And will he miss being on the ice?
“Every player feels like he can still play,” said Ricci. “I’m sure I’ll be banging on Doug’s door every few weeks saying I can play.”
Ricci will have to settle for the memories.
“Winning the Stanley Cup in Colorado was a highlight, but I’ll just miss being around the game.”
Health was the primary reason for Ricci hanging up the blades.
“With my back and neck problems, its probably better I didn’t play any more,” said Ricci.
He may not wear the Teal anymore, but Ricci’s primary goal is to add a ring to the one he earned with Colorado in 1996.
“I want to see the Stanley Cup in June,” said Ricci.
The best news is that Ricci will remain the same person who fans enjoyed on the ice.
“I’ll just be myself,” said Ricci. “My dad always said some people will like you and others won’t.”
That’s a bit of a stretch as the only people who didn’t like Ricci were wearing another sweater.
As for the famous hair, it is not short by any stretch, but not quite as long as during his playing days.
“I won’t let it grow too long now, but it might come back in style,” laughed Ricci.
Mike Ricci will never go out of style.