It was nice to see Ray Whitney back in San Jose last night as he visited with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Whitney is the last active player from the Inaugural 91'-92' Sharks squad, a team that included current Sharks general manager Doug Wilson.
His tenure with the Sharks was a myriad of glory and failure.
In the 92'-93' season, Whitney's first full season as an NHL regular, the Sharks collected 71 losses and compiled a 17 game losing streak, both league records in futility.
The next season in San Jose would have a much different tone as they would qualify for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference bracket and stun the top seed Detroit Red Wings in a 7 game classic.
The #7 seed Sharks would play spoiler again in the 1995 playoffs as they took the #2 seed Calgary Flames to the brink in a first round, seven game set.
The deciding game could not be decided in regulation and crept into double overtime.
It would not end until Whitney deflected a shot from Sergei Makarov past Flames netminder Trevor Kidd and the Sharks had their second playoff series victory in as many years.
Whitney would spend a few more season in San Jose and then he would morph into a journeyman of sorts, playing with five more teams.
His greatest moment on the ice would not come until the Spring of 2006 when he was a member of the Stanley Cup champion Hurricanes.
Now, in his sixteenth season, Whitney had shown little signs of hanging them up and should reach the 800 point mark in the next couple of seasons.
He was never an All-Star, never won any NHL hardware and won't make the Hall of Fame, but if you ask any die-hard Sharks or Canes fan about Whitney, they will aptly detail a list of Whitney generated memories.
Whitney certainly is one of my favorites.
Fight of the Night
Today we got Zack Stortini of Edmonton going at it with Bam Bam Janssen of St. Louis.
Stortini, or Storweenie as some fight pundits fondly proclaim, has the reputation of getting involved in a fracas and then hanging on for dear life with little or no offensive flair resulting in complete tomfoolery and a waste of a fighting major.
This clip we got, shows a different Storini, a Stortini that fight enthusiast's would be proud to call an NHL heavyweight.
Opening up and throwing with a guy like Bam Bam is no easy task as Bam Bam throws'em with brute force.
So for this one, we must take the Storweenie label away and give the kid credit.
Good job big boy!
Whitney ends Calgary's season!
Janssen vs. Stortini