Tuesday, January 15, 2013

George Gund III, 1936 - 2013

The San Jose Sharks just announced the passing of the team's original owner and Bay Area hockey ambassador, George Gund III.  He succumbed to cancer at the age of 75.

The Sharks have also posted a memorialized image of the famed owner on their website, sharks.nhl.com.

The Sharks are arguably one of the most successful sports franchises, due to the contrast between the team's immense popularity today, and the time when the Sharks were granted their expansion team in the early 1990s, when ice hockey was virtually unheard of in the Bay Area.  Although the California Golden Seals existed as a Bay Area professional hockey team in the 1960s and 1970s, the team never maintained the massive popularity the Sharks do today.  Mr. Gund was an investor in the Seals at the time, and knew that if given another chance, professional hockey could have an opportunity to thrive in the Bay Area.

Sharks fans have Mr. Gund to thank for taking a chance on what would become one of the most popular and successful hockey franchises in the NHL, especially since the prospects of a successful professional hockey team in San Jose were bleak at the time.

Rest in peace, Mr .Gund, and thank you for bringing the Sharks to us!

It is noted from a few sources that the Sharks will be wearing jersey patches and helmet sticker decals emblazoned with "GG III" for the current season, in memory of their late, great owner.

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