The San Jose Sharks will begin the shortened 2013 NHL season on January 20 in Calgary, followed by a visit to Edmonton on the 21st, according to Sportsnet.
The back-to-back will mark the first two of a 48-game schedule as a result of the lockout that lasted 113 days. The players and owners struck a deal last Saturday, which will become official once the players’ union ratifies the new CBA.
The full schedule is expected to come once the new deal is ratified and in place. Training camp will begin on Sunday, but until then players are not allowed to have any contact with coaches.
Captain Joe Thornton flew back to San Jose from Switzerland on Wednesday, after playing for HC Davos and notching 12 goals with 24 assists in 33 games.
“I feel good, I feel healthy,” Thornton told CSN. “I played some games, so hopefully I have a little advantage on the other guys.”
He was also asked if the Sharks could benefit from a short season:
Hopefully it helps. We had some guys that were playing and some weren’t, so it’s a good mixture of guys, but until it’s played it’s so tough to say right now.
I think everybody knows how important it’s going to be getting off to a quick start. You definitely don’t want to lose three or four in a row or you’re behind the eight ball. It’s important to stay consistent, and get off to a quick start.
Just to get you back into the hockey spirit, here’s an epic fight between Frazer McLaren and Joel Rechlicz:
McLaren plays for the Worcester Sharks, the minor-league affiliate of the San Jose Sharks. He will be one of the players fighting for a roster spot with the big boys once training camp opens.