Three days after being eliminated from the post season, the Sharks packed up their gear, signed some final autographs, and said goodbye. But it still stings that they're not in the Stanley Cup finals.
"When you lose, you think the world is going to end and then you kind of have a couple of days to think about it, reflect on the year and I think we had a pretty darn good year. It was a big step we took this year, and we just have to learn from it and build on for next year," says Sharks center Joe Thornton.
The team will now begin putting together next year's roster with three key free agents: Sharks center Patrick Marleau, Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabakov, and Rob Blake.
"People should not get into the point of premature assessments or jump to any conclusions. We will make those decisions going forward. These are people who have done tremendous jobs for this organization," says Sharks general manager Doug Wilson.
Marleau and Nabakov have the longest tenure in this locker room and both would like to come back and finish what they've started.
"Sometimes when you're part of something for so long, and you get the job done so you want to be here to get the job done," says Nabakov.
"To help put that work in and get that feeling of winning a couple of series, it's an experience you've got to build up," says Marleau.
"This season is a success as long as we do something with the growth next year. If we take a step backwards, we can't look at this as being a successful one," says Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.