While the Sharks are in Stockholm, so are close to one hundred of their fans who took part in the league sponsored trip to Sweden. The NHL worked with the participating teams to provide a package including air, tickets and hotel accommodations.
“It was a last minute thing. What the heck? Try it,” said Rich Silva who is a season ticket holder. “It’s a great city, unbelievable.”
“I love the Sharks,” said fellow season ticket holder Helen Jorgens. “I just wanted to come across the pond and couldn’t wait for the season to start.”
Following Thursday’s practice, the players exited the Globe Arena through a fan reception, providing an opportunity for pictures and autographs.
“This is really cool,” said Silva. “It’s good stuff. They are really nice guys.”
“I like Pavelski,” said Jorgens, who had a chance to meet her favorite Shark. Jorgens has been to every game in the history of HP Pavilion except two and that includes preseason and playoff contests.
The extra time to put a smile on the fans’ faces is definitely worth it for the Sharks.
“I think it goes both ways,” said Scott Nichol. “They get to see our personalities and then we get to meet them. It was a quick meet and greet, but I think they enjoyed it.”
Since the travel group was at practice on Thursday, they were able witness Thornton being named captain, even though they weren’t 100 percent positive in what they were watching.
“They didn’t announce it too loudly, but the sticks (tapping were a signal),” said Jorgens.
Like the players, the fans are having a blast experiencing the new culture.
“The people are great,” said Silva.
San Jose’s men in teal were appreciative of the fan efforts to travel 12 hours to watch them in action.
“I think it shows what great support we have in our community and how passionate our fans are,” said Nichol. “They came halfway around the world to watch a couple of hockey games. Pavs and I took a cab yesterday and you could see the Sharks jerseys, they stick out like a sore thumb walking down the street. It will be a great next couple of days.”
The best reward for the fans will be an opening night win and hopefully San Jose can pull that off.