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Team Red Wins One; Scouts Enjoy Watching Sharks Live

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks
Day three of training camp saw a first half offensive explosion by Team Red as they made a 5-0 halftime lead hold up for a 7-4 victory.

The scoring opened when Jonathan Cheechoo played a little role reversal with Joe Thornton and turned a nice no-look pass into a scoring opportunity. Thornton took the puck in deep and posted the first goal of the morning.

Joe Pavelski, Graham Mink, Tom Cavanagh and Mark Bell scored throughout the first half as Evgeni Nabokov was perfect in his half of player. Team White attempted a rally, scoring the first two goals of the second half and they looked to close the gap even more, but Mike Grier was stopped alone in the crease.

Hooten scored to make the lead four again and that pretty much sealed the victory. Patrick Marleau did score a highlight goal later as he outworked a defender for a puck and then cut inside the blueliner and beat the goalie across the crease for a tally. Hooten scored again with five minutes remaining, but Ryane Clowe closed out the scoring by giving Team Red their seventh goal in the final two minutes.

Team Teal will rest during the day tomorrow before skating at HP Pavilion in the annual Teal and White game on Monday evening. The practice is a private session for Sharks season ticket holders.

Training camp is an especially fun time of year for scouting staffs across the league. While they may work for a specific NHL team, they actually see very few games of their employer in person, primarily watching on satellite when possible. Most scouting staffs spend the season looking at amateur players for the draft or watching professional games from around the NHL and AHL as preparation for a potential trade.

From the amateur side, it is especially gratifying to see drafted players strive and excel in their road to the NHL.

“It’s exciting to see their games improve as they get older and more experienced,” said San Jose’s Director of Scouting, Tim Burke, who only gets to see about 10 Sharks games a year in person.

As the man who oversees the Sharks drafts, which have provided the bulk of the franchise’s players, Burke enjoys seeing players take the next step.

“The rookie games show players at a higher level and now there are NHL players sprinkled in and that helps us see how they are doing. The young players get a lot out of that.”

Camp also provides the franchise a better estimate on when or if players are going to become San Jose residents.

“You start looking at their timetable physically and mentally,” said Burke. “Some improvements you can instill immediately, but it’s different with different guys. Most have worked on what the coaches asked them to do.”

Burke says the camaraderie also makes this a fun time of year. While he communicates daily with his staff, they rarely see each other in person as a group, with the exceptions of the draft, mid-year meetings and playoffs. The group did take in the opening of Stanford’s new stadium on Saturday night.

“It’s good to get together,” said Burke. “We do a lot of work on the computer, but it is good to come together and be around the young players and the coaches. Our coaches do a very good job with the young guys.”

The mini-reunion won’t last long as the Canadian and American junior leagues will soon start their season and the pro scouts will be called upon to watch NHL and then AHL exhibition games.

Then once again it’s back to normal, with key components of the franchise, spending the bulk of their time away from San Jose.
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