The San Jose Sharks won’t be coming home this weekend.
Although Santa Clara County’s health authorities allowed college and professional sports in the county to be allowed earlier this week if certain guidelines were followed closely, Sharks coach Bob Boughner said the team will play their first two scheduled home games in Arizona on Wednesday becomes .
The Sharks, who haven’t been in San Jose for over a month, will play the Vegas Golden Knights at the Gila River Arena on Monday and Wednesday of next week.
After their game on Thursday, the Sharks will travel to Arizona on the Colorado Avalanche, the last of eight road trips to mark the start of the season. The Sharks are considered the home team for their games with the Golden Knights.
After the two-game streak with Vegas, the next opportunity for the Sharks to play a home game is February 13th against the Anaheim Ducks. The Sharks will travel to Southern California for two games against the Ducks on February 5 and 6, followed by two games with the Los Angeles Kings on February 9 and 11.
Boughner said he found out about the sharks’ plans before Wednesday noon.
“It is disappointing to me when you ask me personally,” said Boughner. “I think the boys are ready to come back and be with their families. So I would say there is a sense of disappointment. But we knew after (the announcement by the district) that there was a chance that we would not return until the next home games. ”
“So we knew this was a possibility, but I think we were all hoping it would happen this weekend and unfortunately it isn’t. So we just have to play along. ”
While Santa Clara County’s new guidelines are tough, it’s unclear what exactly is keeping the sharks from returning to the Bay Area this weekend. A message left on a Sharks spokesman was not returned immediately.
Boughner said he doesn’t think players would try to bring family members to Arizona.
“We’re going to be keeping a pretty strict protocol here until we get home,” he said. “So we’ll be on the road as a group for a few more weeks.”
Some players like Devan Dubnyk and Ryan Donato still have to go to San Jose as members of the Sharks. Donato came straight from his home in Massachusetts to the Sharks’ training camp in Scottsdale, Arizona last month and hadn’t found accommodation since last week. Dubnyk has a place in South Bay but has yet to set foot in his house.
“We wanted clarity,” said Dubnyk. “The hardest part is when you’re sitting there and you don’t know if we’re going to be in Arizona, we’re going to be home, go home, and then go to Arizona. It’s a lot harder for guys. Just some kind of finality for what’s going on.
“Everyone wants to see home and their families, but we’ve been told we’re going to Arizona and I think we were all expecting it for those first few games anyway.”
The Sharks seem optimistic that they can get to San Jose for the series with the ducks in just under three weeks.
“Not the best news (Wednesday) of course, but it looks like we’ll be back home soon. That’s the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s nice to have some confidence in this matter.” Shark wing winger Evander Kane said. “Obviously it’s not an ideal situation, but it’s something that we just have to deal with and move on.”
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