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2005-06 Finish: 44-27-11, 5th West
General Manager: Doug Wilson (3rd Season)
Head Coach: Ron Wilson (4th Season)
2005-06 Goals For: 266
2005-06 Goals Against: 242
2005-06 Power Play: 18.2% (13th)
2005-06 Penalty Killing: 80.7% (22nd)
Points Leader: Joe Thornton (125)
Goals Leader: Jonathan Cheechoo (56)
Assists Leader: Joe Thornton (96)

Offseason Moves: Acquired a conditional sixth-round pick in either 2006 or 2007 from the Colorado Avalanche for defenceman Michael Vernace; signed right wing Mike Grier, who had been with the Buffalo Sabres; signed centre Curtis Brown, who had been with the Chicago Blackhawks; acquired centre Mark Bell from the Chicago Blackhawks for defenceman Tom Preissing and centre Josh Hennessy; signed defenceman Patrick Traverse, who had been with the Dallas Stars; signed right wing Mathieu Darche, who had been in Germany; signed defenceman Scott Ferguson, who had been with the Minnesota Wild, to a one-year contract; signed right wing Graham Mink, who had been with the Washington Capitals, to a one-year contract; acquired a 2007 second-round pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins for left wing Nils Ekman and goaltender Patrick Ehelechner; signed defenceman Mathieu Biron, who has been with the Washington Capitals, to a one-year contract.

Goaltending: GM Doug Wilson fielded calls early in the offseason for both of his goalies, but didn't find a suitable deal. Evgeni Nabokov's new $21.5-million, four-year contract kicked in July 1, a deal that includes a no-trade clause. So it looks like Nabokov will be battling for playing time in goal with his buddy Vesa Toskala. He started the year as the backup but took off after the Olympic break, ending the season with a 23-7 record, a 2.56 GAA and a .901 save percentage. He also started all 11 playoff games, going 6-5 with a 2.45 GAA and a .910 save percentage. Making things more complicated is the emergence of Nolan Schaefer, who went 5-1 with a 1.88 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in limited duty.

Defence: The Sharks gave up a very good puck-moving defenceman in Tom Preissing to acquire Mark Bell in a three-way deal with Ottawa and Chicago. But Christian Ehrhoff, Mathieu Biron, Scott Hannan and Kyle McLaren still give the team a lot of depth. Ehrhoff had eight points in 11 playoff games, and could be a top point man this season after scoring 23 points in 64 games in 2005-2006. Hannan led all San Jose skaters in ice-time (24:34) and plays a tight, well-disciplined game. McLaren can be a menace on the blueline, and also excels in shot-blocking and has a good hard shot. Rookie Matt Carle scored six points in 12 regular season games and had three points in 11 playoff games. He could put up a Calder-worthy campaign if he gets ample ice time and power play duty.

Forwards: There was no duo in the NHL more dominant last season than Hart Trophy winner Joe Thornton and Rocket Richard Trophy winner Jonathan Cheechoo. Patrick Marleau also enjoyed a career season, and the offense only gets better with the acquisition of Mark Bell. The former Chicago Blackhawk brings a great combination of size, scoring ability and physical play and should blend well on the top two lines. Speaking of big forwards, Steve Bernier made huge strides and tallied 27 points in just 39 games last year. At 6-2, and 230 pounds, he has the potential to play the role of power forward effectively. Centres Alyn McCauley and Scott Thornton are gone, but forwards Curtis Brown and Mike Grier are solid replacements for a third line that can play the physical game, kill penalties and take crucial faceoffs.

Welcome to the NHL: The Sharks have plenty of young talent like Schaefer, Carle and Bernier to showcase for full-time duty this year. Another prospect to keep an eye on is defenceman Lukas Kaspar. He stands tall at 6-2 and 205 pounds and the speed and quickness to create offense. He put up just 36 points in 76 AHL games, but his style of play is what will have has the Sharks considering a closer look at training camp.
 
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