The AHL's foray into California has been an unabashed success, with the biggest benefit coming in the form of player development.
Doug Wilson’s voice is a little raspy. It seems both he and his San Jose Sharks have been dealing with a flu that has been running through the team of late. Which, of course, naturally brings us to Barclay Goodrow and developing NHL players.
To backtrack slightly, the Sharks summoned Goodrow from their AHL team last Friday morning on an emergency recall because they were unsure whether some of their players would be healthy enough to play. As it turns out, the Sharks were fine for their afternoon game against the New York Islanders, so the Sharks sent him back down and he scored that night and was first star in the San Jose Barracuda 4-1 win over the Bakersfield Condors.
After having a couple of forwards get dinged up in the Islanders game, the Sharks recalled Goodrow the next day for a game against Anaheim, then sent him back down immediately after the game that night. Goodrow certainly wasn’t complaining since based on his NHL salary of $626,667, he made almost $3,500 for each of the two days he was with the parent club. And it’s not as though it was a major inconvenience, since all he had to do was walk down the hall to a different dressing room.
And that is a perfect example of how the AHL’s foray into California and some of the bigger markets in North America has been an unabashed success. The Sharks had their AHL affiliate in Worcester, Mass., until last season and there was no way they’d have been able to make moves like that when faced with the prospect of a prospect (get it?) having to travel across the country.
“It levels the playing field,” Wilson said. “It helps on so many fronts.”