After two weeks of absolutely no transactions, NHL free agency had a sudden flurry of activity this week. The Thursday, August 22 signing of unrestricted free agent (UFA) Douglas Murray to what Cap Geek is reporting as a $1.5 million, one-year contract by the Montreal Canadiens was one of a few news items connected to the San Jose Sharks since those previously detailed Wednesday.
The biggest free agency news of the week around the NHL was the signing of UFA Mikhail Grabovski by the Washington Capitals. That ensures they will retain an elite-level one-two punch on their scoring lines, but its ripple effect is unlikely to make it all the way to San Jose.
There were two pieces of news directly related to the Sharks Thursday: 2013 preseason tickets will go on sale Monday, August 26 and San Jose has renewed a minor-league affiliation with the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL.
Neither is a surprise. Ticket sales should be open 25 days before the first home exhibition game. Having an affiliate that lies within your own fan base is good for both parties, the Bulls won one and hosted three playoff games in their first season and several players that began there contributed at the next level for the AHL Worcester Sharks.
Both do not combine for the level of interest of the one story only indirectly connected to the Sharks. Murray may have been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins five months ago, after which the team was able to play a faster and more successful game. Even had they not found out they played better without him, they have too many developing players on their blue line to have even considered bringing back the 33-year old.
Nevertheless, that does not diminish his status in San Jose, where there are five primary reasons he earned a following...