It seems like another lifetime ago when my beloved Sharks were still in the early stages of infancy as a NHL franchise, and struggling to gain any measure of respect from anyone.
Throughout the early years and growing pains as a franchise, there emerged an unrivaled leader and captain in Teal, and his name was Owen Nolan.
Today Owen Nolan hung it up, calling it a career after a remarkable run in the NHL. He is and always will be my favorite Shark player of all time.
Ranking second with 206 goals, 76 power-play goals and 451 points, Owen as a player was more than the sum of his stats.
Plain and simple, he was a man’s man on the ice and there’s no better leader I would want out there for my team. In today’s stripped down NHL, with the multitude of ridiculous and vague rules to protect it’s cash cows ( Sidney Crysby anyone?), there just aren’t too many power forwards like Nolan in the league anymore.
My favorite Owen moment? scoring the hat trick in the 1997 All-Star Game hosted in San Jose. After being denied time and time again by Hasek in search for his third goal on his home ice, Owen picked up the puck in the neutral zone and “called his shot” as it were.
I’m standing just left to Hasek in the vomitory in this video, and it’s my favorite Owen Nolan moment of all time.
Who can forget the 1999-2000 season where Owen potted 44 goals and 84 points en route to the infamous red line goal against the Blues in the playoffs. Epic stuff.
Mark Messier may be “The Captain” but Owen Nolan will always be “My Captain”
Best of luck Owen, thanks for the memories.