Last Saturday the Sharks opened their morning skate practice to the public. They asked that those intending to attend bring electronics to e-cycle, and those who did so were rewarded with free disposal of their e-waste, a scratcher card worth $5 to $1000 dollars (we got $10), some HP pens. There were maybe 100 people in attendance, confined to the best seats in the house in Section 101, and the ushers didn’t mind when I brought out my longer-than-six-inch lens they normally frown upon.
The Sharks wore special practice jerseys, green with clovers on it, and the players names on the back “Irished-up” – Heatley became “O’Heatley”, Marleau became “McMarleau”, and Thornton became “MacThornton”. Nabokov’s Irished-up name was O’Nabokov, which I felt would have been much snazzier had it been “O’Nabby”. These practice-used jerseys were signed by their respective player and auctioned off in the evening to benefit The Sharks Foundation.
The practice itself was as one would expect, laid back drills. People brought items to get signed, but I didn’t see the players oblige.
After the practice, Dany Heatley and Joe Pavelski were kind enough to lend their Olympic Gold and Silver to be put on display in the Sharks store. Guarded by a rope and security guard, viewers were allowed in the store a handful at a time to view and photograph the medals. They have a neat warped look to them, and were quite a sight to see.