Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Owen Nolan didn't need much time to carve out his legacy after being traded to the Sharks in exchange for Sandis Ozolinsh. During a time of great franchise turmoil which included the exit of longtime head coach Kevin Constantine and newly appointed GM Dean Lombardi, Owen was the Sharks.
The rebuilding process was a difficult one as Dean Lombardi secured no fewer than eight seasoned veterans with winning track records, trying to change the organization.
While many veterans such as Kelly Hrudey, Marty McSorley, Tony Granato, and Bernie Nicholls provided instant credibility and locker room leadership. Other moves such as the trade for veteran goalie Ed Belfour and hiring of ex-Anaheim assistant Al Sims flopped horribly.
Yet another transitional period as Darryl Sutter was brought aboard, and another flux of veterans headlined by such names as Murray Craven and Stephane Matteau continued to bolster depth.
Through it all, Owen was the one staple fans could fall back on and along with Jeff Friesen gave them hope as well.
The 1997-98 season proved to be a success as the Sharks won a then-franchise high 34 games and return to the playoffs after a two-year hiatus.
Owen's finest season came in 1999–00 as his 44 goals were topped only by Pavel Bure's 58 but San Jose did not nail down a playoff berth until the final week of the season leading to their fateful matchup against the St. Louis Blues.
Injuries, locker room turmoil and rumors of Owen's unhappiness led to a accelerated fall from grace for the Sharks captain.
In one of the darkest days in franchise history, Owen Nolan was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 5, 2003.
Inside the Numbers: 568 GP, 206 goals, 245 assists, .798 PPG
Why Nolan is placed here: For many fans, Owen Nolan still brings back warm memories and classic performances that reminds fans why they fell in love with the Sharks. He's not only the prototypical franchise power forward, they broke the mold when they made him.
Physical, angry, determined and leadership are all words that come to mind when invoking Owen Nolan's memories as a Shark.
Memorable Shark Moment: Being a huge fan of Buster, I had a difficult time trying to nail down his signature moment. His "called-shot" in the 1997 All-Star Game certainly deserves it's merit, especially because Hasek continually denied Nolan the hat trick on four previous shots.
But it's still an All-Star game, and Joe Sakic being an ex-teammate doesn't hurt either, but the Shark tank went absolutely berzerk after that goal.
Much respect goes out to Blades of Teal, who reminded me of one of the most gratifying checks in San Jose Shark history when Owen checked Ed Belfour in the 1997-98 playoffs.
Classic stuff, got to love how Ludwig hides behind the refs after Nolan gets to his feet.
The link to the original article.