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NHL awards continue to elude San Jose Sharks in 2014

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Even the NHL awards did not go the way of the San Jose Sharks in 2014. Former captain and current face of the franchise Patrick Marleau was a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy for the most gentlemanly player but lost to Ryan O'Reilly Tuesday, June 24. Former captain Rob Blake was elected to the Hall of Fame Monday, but played most of his long career for the Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Kings.

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Alex Stalock joins Blake and Marleau on the photo list of Sharks up for an award, though his nomination for the Masterson Trophy that rewards perseverance after battling back from a career-threatening nerve injury did not make him a finalist. Joe Pavelski is included for winning the team's Brocade Player of the Year for the 2013-14 NHL season. Brent Burns was a finalist for the King Clancy Award that essentially acknowledges charitable work that went to Andrew Ference, and the similar NHL Foundation Award that went to Patrice Bergeron.

Thus after a season with only one Shark active for an Olympic medal team (three Olympians in all) with two finalists for what would be clearly second-tier season awards, the team's only postseason success is Blake. He was a King for almost six times as much of his career and won his Stanley Cup in a significant stint with the Colorado Avalanche.

That concludes the disappointments San Jose can accrue on the 2013-14 NHL season. The upcoming NHL draft this weekend should help everyone move on to next season. Trades are more likely as the draft approaches as well as while it goes on, then there will be a few days before the new contract year officially begins.

Do not expect the Sharks to be active in the ensuing free agency period, though they may add a few complimentary pieces. The big question that awaits them over the next two months is which players they keep and who they move out.

At the very least, it makes this the most interesting summer since general manager Doug Wilson turned the team over to younger players upon taking the helm. It should be encouraging to San Jose that what followed was the most successful season in franchise history in terms of Stanley Cup playoff wins.

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