Ripon Bulletin - - Sports/dollars & Sense -

►LAST SEA­SON: 46-29-7, 99 points. Third place Pa­cific Divi­sion. Lost to Ed­mon­ton in first round.

COACH: Peter DeBoer (third sea­son, 10th NHL sea­son).

►ADDED: None.

►LOST: F Pa­trick Mar­leau, D David Sch­lemko, F Micheal Ha­ley.

►PLAYER TO WATCH: Joe Thorn­ton. The Sharks brought back the 38-year-old Thorn­ton on an $8 mil­lion deal with hopes that he will boost his pro­duc­tion from a year ago. Thorn­ton had seven goals and 43 as­sists last sea­son for his fewest points in an 82-game sea­son since 1998-99. Thorn­ton missed the fi­nal week of the reg­u­lar sea­son and the first two play­off games with a left knee in­jury be­fore re­turn­ing for the fi­nal four games of a first-round loss to Ed­mon­ton. He then un­der­went surgery to re­pair his MCL and ACL after the sea­son but be­lieves he is even stronger this sea­son.

►OUT­LOOK: The core is still strong with Nor­ris Tro­phy win­ner Brent Burns, shut­down D Marc-Edouard Vla­sic and Fs Joe Pavel­ski and Lo­gan Cou­ture. But if the Sharks are able to make up for the loss of Mar­leau’s 27 goals and go deeper in the play­offs than they did a year ago they will need bounce-back sea­sons from play­ers like Tomas Hertl, Mikkel Boed­ker, Joonas Don­skoi and Chris Tier­ney, and some­one to emerge from a group of young­sters led by Timo Meier, Kevin La­banc and Danny O’Re­gan.

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