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The Sharks Hit The Links On Sunday

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks

 After a long training camp, an extremely extensive travel day, one quick chance to practice and prepare for a new team and different style of play and then a game, the Sharks finally took a rest on Sunday.

The vast majority of the players took part in a team sponsored golf event where they intermingled with Adler Mannheim less than 24 hours after competing against the German club.

The golf was held at an extremely nice facility near the main offices of SAP. There was an exchange of jerseys between the two management groups along with bragging rights for a few players. Joe Pavelski and Torrey Mitchell took home top honors and Andreas Lilja and Tommy Wingels earned third place. A Mannheim club was sandwiched in second place.

“Anything within 200 feet we were putting from within 20 feet,” said Mitchell. “I could just pick up my ball unless I wanted to try for a shot of a lifetime.”

Pavelski gave his partner a good share of the credit.

“He had half the shots, no, maybe not half, but close to half,” said Pavelski.

Other Sharks were simply content with a day away from the rink.

“I’m not a golfer and I’ll never be a golfer,” said Antti Niemi.

There were other games within the game as to be expected on the course.

“We beat Jumbo and Greg and we had a little thing going with them. That’s all we really cared about,” said Logan Couture.

Overall the event provided a much needed relief from hockey as training camp can be mentally wearing on the players with days off sparse.

“It was really nice,” said Patrick Marleau. “Everything seemed to be in really great shape.”

“It was a nice course, a beautiful day,” said Couture. “I played with Doug and Fred Brathwaite and Jame Pollock. I find being on the golf course is the most relaxing place.”

Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson enjoyed the benefits for his team.

“For us it’s about more than team bonding,” said Wilson. “To experience the whole environment over here has been wonderful. After experiencing the long travel, to have the fresh air and have some fun is really good. The more time they spend with each other the better. Some of the young guys are more comfortable around (the vets) in an environment like this.”

There was some knowledge gained about what the Canadians playing for Mannheim go through.

“I asked a lot of question about their league over here,” said Couture. “They both spent time in Russia and told stories of their time in the KHL. It was cool to hear stories like that.”

John McCarthy played with Teal Fowler, the Mannheim manager.

“Teal went to Merrimack College which is where I’m from,” said McCarthy. “I live about two miles from Merrimack College, it’s where I’m from. It was cool to talk about that a little bit. We talked about the team over here and how it works.”

There was also some bonding done as young roster hopefuls like McCarthy and Tommy Wingels, along with the new netminders, had a chance to learn more about their teammates.

“Today was fun and good to get away from the rink, relax a little bit and grow closer with the guys,” said McCarthy. “It’s always hard when you are the new guys, but the guys have been great and going out of their way for the young guys.”

“I think it is good for everyone to relax here and have some fun,” said Niemi. “I think it’s good for me, just coming to the team a couple of weeks ago. I’m still learning about the guys. More and more I’m learning about the players. Now I can tell who is always telling jokes and who is more serious. Mitchell is pretty funny. Even when I can’t make sense of his jokes, they are funny.”

Marleau is looking for a side benefit from the event.

“Hopefully we’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight from being outdoors all day,” said Marleau. “I think that is the main plan now.”

A surprise piece of birthday cake was brought out for Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan.

The Sharks roster will not have to be trimmed until they get to Sweden, but everyone knows how close the position battle are and will be continuing the battle in practice Monday.

“We’re still fighting for a job and the team is definitely not set, we know that,” said McCarthy.

Charlie Coyle, the Sharks first round pick this summer, played for Boston University in an exhibition game against the University of Toronto and posted a hat trick and an assist.
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