Nico Sturm opened the small wooden box that held the Stanley Cup ring that he earned last season as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Inside was not only the 14-karat white gold ring, set with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, but a short video that showed the team’s on-ice celebration right after their Game 6 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sturm received the ring Tuesday night after the Sharks were walloped 6-0 by the Avalanche, a completely one-sided affair that showed the obvious disparity between the two franchises. One appears ready to chase another Cup, the other has one of the worst records in the NHL as it tries to lay a foundation for its own success years down the line.

“Obviously, it takes a while to build an organization and a roster to where everybody, every piece fits exactly where it needs to be,” Sturm said. “I think that’s what we’re trying to do, is trying to get guys and players that play a certain part, and that doesn’t happen from today until tomorrow.”

Sturm, 27, is one of those pieces.

The Sharks signed Sturm to a three-year, $6 million contract last offseason and so far, it looks like one of general manager Mike Grier’s shrewdest moves. Sturm, the team’s third-line center, already has established new career highs in goals (13), points (21), and average time on ice (14:39), and is one of San Jose’s top penalty-killing forwards.

“He certainly brings a lot of characteristics you’re looking for in any organization, but in particular, the situation we’re in as we continue to move forward here and add pieces to where we ultimately want to be,” Sharks coach David Quinn said of Sturm. “He’s a great teammate, very diligent in his work ethic on and off the ice, hard to play against. Does a lot of good things for us.”

The Sharks are firmly in a transitional period. Forwards Timo Meier, Mikey Eyssimont, and Nick Bonino, plus winger Matt Nieto and defensemen Jaycob Megna, were all offloaded before last Friday’s trade deadline, and more changes will likely be forthcoming this summer as Grier continues to reshape the roster.

Last member of our championship family to receive his ring #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/shYgrDvErc

— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) March 8, 2023

“I don’t expect us to be Stanley Cup contenders next year, but the goal has to be to move in the right direction and take the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


What Nico Sturm said the Sharks can learn from the Colorado Avalanche

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