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(Ed. Note: There’s entirely too much sunshine in the summer. So your friends at Puck Daddy are offering a month of thrown shade and perpetual gloom. Behold, our Summer of Disappointment series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to recall the biggest bummer moments, teams and players in franchise history! Please wade into their misery like a freezing resort pool, and add your own choices in the comments!)
Written by Noah Glick of Great White and Teal
Most Disappointing Team: 2013-2014 San Jose Sharks, the "Joe to Joe" Season
It's hard to top this season.
Joe Thornton was second in the NHL in assists, helping Joe Pavelski reach a career-high 41 goals, while also playing on a line with Obi-Wan.
He also introduced the world to Tomas Hertl, who is pretty good at hockey - and amazing at Twitter.
No Winter Olympic Games,soo i am starting preparation at the Summer Olympic Games!!.:-DD pic.twitter.com/Lnh0GZt20K
— Tomáš Hertl (@TomasHertl48) February 11, 2014
Patrick Marleau lived up to the nickname no one uses but should, "Mr. Reliable," amassing another 30-goal season, the seventh of his career, and played in every single game for the fifth year in a row.
The defense was solid, with Marc-Edouard Vlasic leading the way and finally getting the recognition he deserves. When you play against the Sharks, you have to figure out a way to knock him out, figuratively.
"I said no pickles!"
Antti Niemi was ok. But he was just "ok" when he won the Cup with Chicago. Everything was in place this year: solid, two-way forward lines with depth, stingy defensive play, and a Cup-winning netminder good enough to not mess it up.
They even went up 3-0 to the Kings in the opening round, playing against a team captained by this moron...
Yet here we are, another offseason with the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.
Most Disappointing Shark: Martin Havlat
Havlat never really stood a chance in teal. Hell, he was really only brought in because Doug Wilson was tired of paying Dany Heatley $7 million a year to not backcheck and throw baseballs like this.
Martin Havlat, even with his reduced rate of $5 million a season, was injured far too often to make an impact on the team, playing in less than 70% of regular season games with the Sharks. He spent most of that time getting something called a "pelvic floor" repaired.
Yes, it's as bad as it sounds.
To make it worse, he even got hurt once by doing this.
He even inspired the amazing Twitter handle, @IsHavlatInjured.
— Is Havlat Injured? (@IsHavlatInjured) May 21, 2013
But it's not his fault, and I don't want to blame him for not being able to live up to our hopes when he was just hoping to make it through breakfast without getting hurt. The most infuriating thing about Havlat, is that he's a hell of a good hockey player.
He was just rarely able to put it together for the Sharks.
Most Disappointing Moment in Sharks History: First-Round Playoff Loss to the Ducks, 2009
Anytime you lose to this swarmy turd, it hurts.
Wait, where have I seen this kid before?
This is where it all started, the series that imprinted the "choker" label onto all the shoulder pads of Sharks' playoff sweaters for years to come. The Sharks win the President's Trophy, then drop the first two at home against Gordon Bombay Randy Carlyle and the Mighty Ducks. Then on the brink of elimination, this happens.
The Sharks lost that game 4-1.
If that wasn't enough, let's look at the next five seasons. In 2010, they get swept by the Blackhawks. In 2011, they go up 3-0 against the Red Wings, only to let it go to seven (sound familiar?). Then they get blown out by the Canucks. The next year? A first-round exit to the Blues, followed by a second-round exit to the Kings in 2013.
Then of course there was this season.
At least it'll be another two months before the A's disappoint me.
Most Disappointing Sharks Transaction: Owen Nolan to Toronto
It should just go without saying that if you plan on making your team better, you should never trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Then again, we did do back-to-back deals with the Wild.
This trade, on the surface, isn't terrible. The Sharks were having a pretty lousy season, yet they had a gritty, skilled captain and two stellar goaltenders that could command some value in the market. Nolan was just past 30, so it was a safe bet that his production would slide. Why not bring in some young guys and do the organization's favorite strategy, the "refresh"?
In return, the Sharks got Brad Boyes, Alyn McCauley and a first-round pick, which they used to get Milan Michalek. In a sense, it was Nolan for Michalek, which looking back, is a decent upgrade given the circumstances.
What transpired in the years to follow is what makes this trade so frustrating. First, the team was left without a captain, which led to a weird game of musical chairs for the C. If only someone would step up and take the crown...
What could possibly go wrong?
Fast forward, and we see Michalek shipped out for Dany Heatley, who was then sent packing for Martin Havlat (see above). In the end, we ended up losing the best captain in team history for a guy we couldn't wait to buy out.
Most Disappointing Sharks Coach/Executive: Todd McLellan
This was really close. I wanted to say Ron Wilson, but at least Ron Wilson can win more than one game in a Conference Final.
The above-mentioned playoff collapses all happened during McLellan's tenure. That's not to say they are his fault; he's just the recipient of unfortunate matchups and crummy luck. But he's the guy in San Jose; we believe wholeheartedly in him - and that's what makes him so unbelievably disappointing.
Ron Wilson wasn't as disappointing, because no one believed in him as much as we do in T-Mac. It's like having an older sibling who screws up all the time, gets involved with the wrong crowd, maybe even does a stint in the slammer. Even then, the younger sibling not getting into college is the bigger disappointment.
And apparently, Todd McLellan didn't get into college.
Most Disappointing Sharks Fashion Choice: Brent Burns
I wanted to say the new, white jerseys are the worst, but there is so little on the jerseys to even point out how bad they are.
It's like saying a white T-shirt isn't fashionable, even though you're wearing it underneath a custom-tailored suit from Barneys.
But let's get real, the most disappointing fashion choice is the lack of awareness of just how hard Brent Burns rocks his "style." There's even a tumblr dedicated to his suits.
I can't wait for this season to start.
What about you, Wayne?
• • •
Other disappointments (in order of appearance): New York Rangers • Calgary Flames • St. Louis Blues • New York Islanders • Dallas Stars • Boston Bruins • Colorado Avalanche • Washington Capitals • Ottawa Senators • Arizona Coyotes • Minnesota Wild • Edmonton Oilers • Winnipeg Jets • New Jersey Devils • Los Angeles Kings • Florida Panthers • Carolina Hurricanes • Buffalo Sabres • Montreal Canadiens • Tampa Bay Lightning • Chicago Blackhawks • Columbus Blue Jackets • Nashville Predators • Detroit Red Wings • Anaheim Ducks • Philadelphia Flyers • Pittsburgh Penguins • Vancouver Canucks • Toronto Maple Leafs