|Sharks COO John Tortora (left) poses with San Francisco Bulls President and Head Coach Pat Curcio (right).
SAN JOSE, California – San Jose Sharks (@sanjosesharks) Executive Vice President General Manager Doug Wilson and Worcester Sharks General Manager Joe Will announced today that the Sharks have renewed their affiliation agreement with the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL for the 2013-14 season. The Worcester Sharks continue to serve as San Jose’s American Hockey League affiliate.
The 2013-14 campaign marks the second season the Bulls have served as the ECHL development affiliate of the Sharks.
“We had an extremely positive relationship with the Bulls last season as a development vehicle for players within our system and we look forward to continuing that agreement,” said Wilson.
The San Jose and Worcester Sharks organizations placed seven players in San Francisco during last season, including 2009 San Jose draft selection Marek Viedensky and Daniil Tarasov, who parlayed his 2012-13 season into a two-year, NHL contract with San Jose.
Other players from the San Jose/Worcester organizations who spent time in San Francisco last season included: Yanni Gourde, Tommy Grant, Thomas Heemskerk, Taylor Nelson and Mikael Tam.
“San Francisco provides a terrific option for us to place players in a situation where they can further develop themselves as hockey players,” said Will. “Bulls Head Coach Pat Curcio and his staff do a great job preparing the players to succeed and Daniil is a perfect example of that. He worked hard in San Francisco and Worcester and earned an NHL contract on the merit of his play.”
Sharks Chief Operating Officer John Tortora added: “It’s important for us as an organization to help grow the game of hockey at all levels in the Bay Area and the Bulls have done a great job putting a quality product on the ice. The Sharks Bay Area journey began in the San Francisco area and this is another opportunity for us to connect and engage with our many fans and supporters in the North Bay, which is home to more than 15% of our season ticket base.”
The Bulls qualified for the postseason in their inaugural 2012-13 campaign, eventually falling in five games to the Alaska Aces during the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
“We’re very excited to continue and further grow our partnership with the San Jose Sharks,” said Bulls President and Head Coach Pat Curcio. “We are excited at the opportunity to develop Sharks prospects while putting a winning product on the ice. We also believe that our affiliation with the Sharks not only gave us quality prospects, it gave us an instant identity in a very large market, and we are very grateful for them for that.”
The Bulls will continue to play their home games at the historic Cow Palace, where the Sharks played their first two NHL seasons prior to moving into SAP Center at San Jose (then San Jose Arena) in 1993.