Hockey players are very superstitious, it’s a well known fact. Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar puts his right skate on first and even ties it first before the left, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby doesn’t like anyone to touch his stick after it’s been taped. However, there are a few, like Calgary’s Michael Cammalleri and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews who don’t believe in them.
Well what about curses? Are there any curses among the NHL?
Well it seems like the San Jose Sharks might have one. No, I’m not talking about playing on days of the week, or wearing their Black Armour third jersey on a Thursday night home game (that’s for another time!) I’m talking about the number 5. Yes, a number curse. In the Sharks 21 year history, there have been nine players who have donned the number 5 sweater.
- Neil Wilkinson (1992, 1993)
- Mike Lalor (1994)
- Jason Widmer (1997)
- Ken Sutton (1998)
- Doug Bodger (1998)
- Jeff Norton (1999, 2000, 2001)
- Jeff Jillson (2002, 2003)
- Rob Davison (2004, 2006, 2007)
- Colin White (2012)
But what do those nine guys have to do with this so called curse?
Four times while this jersey was being worn by a member of the Sharks, the team failed to make the playoffs (1991-92, 92-93, 96-97, 02-03), three times they lost in the quarterfinals (97-98, 98-99, 11-12), three times they lost to the Dallas Stars (97-98, 99-00, 07-08).
Not only that, there seems to be a New Jersey Devils connection with this number. In 1998, Ken Sutton was traded to the Devils for Doug Bodger, and the Sharks lost to the Colorado Avalanche in the Conference Quarterfinals. Rob Davison signed with the Devils in 2009, and played one game, and the Sharks signed Colin White in August 2011 after he was bought out of his contract with the Devils.
So could it really be? Could the San Jose Sharks be cursed by the number 5? If Colin White is on the Sharks next season, it will be a true test of this.
After being born and raised in Northern California, I’m often asked how I became a hockey fan. Simply put, I was born into it. Attended my first Sharks game in 1998 and fell in love. Marco Sturm is the reason I continue to love and watch the Sharks to this day. I’ve got this knack for naming players on teams just by being told their last name only. Test me. :)