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San Francisco Bulls

San Jose Sharks Fans Fail To Deliver

San Jose Sharks##I have been a Sharks season ticket holder for several years. I stayed up and watched every minute of the Sharks 2006 triple overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers as well as the 2008 quadruple overtime loss to the Dallas Stars. I don’t like Sidney Crosby. I was happy when the Los Angeles King won the Stanley Cup because a close friend of mine is a Kings fan and he agonized through disappointing season after disappointing season (Sharks fans can relate).  I live in San Francisco and make the commute to HP Pavilion to watch the games. As such I feel qualified to be able to chase after my fellow Sharks fans.

Many are disappointed over the negative comments associated with the Sharks’ announcement that the San Francisco Bulls will play a regular season game at HP Pavilion on December 17th.  I know it’s rough to be sitting in San Jose with no hockey, but to snob and snub this opportunity for the Bulls is absolutely embarrassing.

I know it’s not NHL hockey but you know what - the Bulls never claimed to be NHL hockey.  In fact the players that I’ve talked to know exactly what the ECHL is - it’s a feeder league for the AHL and indirectly the NHL.  That means these kids are responsible for making the NHL (and our beloved Sharks) better. And once in a while a player from the ECHL makes it all the way to the NHL (like say, Stanley Cup Champion Jonathan Quick or one of another 400+ players.)

How did players like Logan Couture and Jason Demers get to the NHL?  They had talent but somehow that talent had to be developed. Turns out it got developed in the AHL.  Where does the AHL gets its players from?  One source is the ECHL.  Players move between the ECHL and the AHL the same way players move between the AHL and the NHL.  So the better the ECHL players, the better the competition at the AHL level.  And the better the competition at the AHL level, the stronger the environment to develop your soon-to-be NHL players.

Speaking of developing players, how many goalies do you think the Sharks have in their system - 1, maybe 2?  How many goalies do you play in a game?  Last I checked the the answer was 1.  So what do you do if you have 4 or 5 goalies in your farm system?  Where do those extra goalies go to develop their skills? Well you send some to the ECHL.  And in the case of the San Jose Sharks, that affiliate is THE SAN FRANCISCO BULLS!

See those sharks on that mask?  That's San Jose Sharks prospect Thomas Heemskerk

See those sharks on that mask? That is Thomas Heemskerk, San Jose Sharks prospect and ECHL 'Goalie of the Week' for late November 2012.

So by supporting the Bulls and giving those kids the best possible environment to mature and develop you’re ultimately supporting the Worcester and San Jose Sharks.  I think you get my point.

And by the way Sharks fans, how do many of you make your living?  Where do you get all that extra income to be able to afford NHL hockey?  Since San Jose is pretty much one corner of Silicon Valley I’m going to bet your company, which pays your salary, which pays for Sharks tickets, is most likely either is a start-up, was a start-up or uses products or services developed by a start-up.  Do you use an iPhone to stay in touch with work?  Are HP or Cisco products essential to your company’s workflow?  Do you leverage social media to promote your products?  Does your company provide services to a tech company? Did you know that the San Francisco Bulls are one of the THE start-up success stories to hit the area in the last year? You can read more about the Bulls start-up story here.

In the end I know not all Sharks fans are snubbing the Bulls, they’re probably the same troublemakers that cause all the trouble in sections 209 and 210. If these people would take the time to watch these kids play, especially when they play 3 games in 48 hours or 4 games in 5 days, maybe they’d think twice about criticizing a group that sometimes plays a more physically demanding game than their NHL counterparts.

I know the lockout is frustrating - don’t get me started - but if you’re really a hockey fan how can you honestly say you’re not interested in hockey unless it’s only at the NHL level?  If you don’t think the Bulls are worth your time fine, stay away from HP Pavilion on December 17th.  Let the REAL hockey fans into the building.  Let us watch some kids that some day, if they’re lucky, just might return to HP Pavilion down the road. But next time maybe they’ll be trading their San Francisco Bulls sweater a San Jose Sharks sweater.

He seems to be enjoying Bulls hockey just fine.

He seems to be enjoying Bulls hockey just fine.

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