As it happens almost every year, Sharks fans will notice a few sweater number changes when the preseason rolls around. This year, four Sharks will sport sweater numbers different than what they had when the 2006 playoffs ended.
Doug Murray will change from No. 41 to No. 3.
“I don’t like the high numbers,” said Murray. “I like low numbers for defensemen.”
Like most rookies, he took the number assigned during training camp and stuck with it.
“They gave it to me at camp and I didn’t ask any questions,” said Murray. “Then they asked me if I wanted to change it.”
Murray has a fairly strong reason for selecting three.
“Three is what my grandpa wore with the Swedish National Team,” said Murray. “He played in two World Championships and an Olympics.”
The last Sharks player to wear No. 3 was Dan McGillis briefly in the 2002-03 season and it has also been worn by Steve Bancroft, Bob Rouse, Doug Bodger and Ilya Byakin.
Christian Ehrhoff is also making the number change for 2006-07. Following several seasons with No. 44, Ehrhoff will now don No. 10
“I liked 44, but I always played with 10,” said Ehrhoff. “Mike (Aldrich, San Jose’s equipment manager) asked me if I wanted to change and I wasn’t sure, but when I arrived, I asked if it was still possible.”
No. 10 was always the number of choice for Ehrhoff.
“I wore 10 in Germany, Cleveland and the Olympics,” said the German blueliner. “It was the first number I had when I was six years old.”
Alyn McCauley possessed No. 10 until this season and it has also been used by Marcus Ragnarsson, Johan Garpenlov and Tony Hrkac.
Matt Carle played 12 games with No. 25 last season, but is making his number switch to No. 18 for a couple of different reasons. Professionally, Mike Grier has joined the Sharks and his seniority outranks a player who is still technically a rookie.
“He’s a veteran in the league and he deserves the respect,” said Carle. “Mike’s put his time in with the league. I’ve played just 12 games. He called and asked me and he is a good guy.”
Sentimentally, making the move from the number he wore in juniors and college to No. 18 wasn’t that difficult.
“A lot of my cousins wore 18 when we were growing up and one of them passed away in the spring time. So 18 was an easy choice,” Carle said.
Previous players who have worn No. 18 include Mike Ricci, Chris Tancill, Mark Pederson and Dave Snuggerud.
Grant Stevenson, who started with No. 55 last season, then moved to No. 37, will jump back to No. 55. Like Carle, he is deferring to a veteran.
Curtis Brown has worn No. 37 for a good part of his career and had it in San Jose during their run through the 2004 Western Conference Finals. Stevenson was more than happy to make the switch.
“I don’t care,” said Stevenson. “I had some success with No. 55.”
Stevenson would have taken his college number of No. 19 if not for one small detail.
“We’ve got a guy who wears it who is pretty good,” laughed Stevenson about the current NHL MVP Joe Thornton
. “No one else will want my current number.”
In fact, it appears that no previous Sharks player has ever wanted the number, at least not enough to wear it in a game.
The Sharks players took part in their annual physicals on Thursday morning and everyone, including rookies and veterans who had been skating during the Captain’s Practices, took a day away from the rink.
The ice will be put in at HP Pavilion at San Jose on September 17.
SHARKIE ON PARADE
S.J. Sharkie will help the city of Newark celebrate their 51st birthday as Grand Marshal in “Newark Days” Parade on Saturday.
The parade will begin Saturday at 9:45 a.m. at the corner of Newark Blvd. and Central Ave.
Prior to the “Newark Days” Parade, Sharkie will be on hand for the VIP Breakfast at 8:30 a.m.
In addition to Saturday’s parade, “Newark Days” will also feature a car and truck show, dog show, information faire, kid’s parade, race, carnival, 51st birthday cake celebration and many more family activities.
The “Newark Days” festivities will commence Thursday evening with the Kid’s Kick-Off Parade and Opening Ceremonies and will continue until Sunday evening.