Bulls renew affiliation with San Jose, Worcester

San Francisco Bulls announced today they have renewed their affiliation with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks and AHL’s Worcester Sharks. The Bulls will continue to serve as the Sharks’ exclusive ECHL developmental team.

“We’re very excited to continue and further grow our partnership with the San Jose Sharks,” said Bulls President and Head Coach Pat Curcio. “We can’t thank Doug Wilson, Wayne Thomas, Joe Will and John Tortora enough for their support. Our first season created a mutually beneficial relationship. The Sharks provided us with high-quality players, who helped contribute to our team’s appearance in the playoffs. We are excited about the opportunity to develop Sharks prospects while putting a winning product on the ice. We also believe that our affiliation with the Sharks not only gives us quality prospects, it gives us an instant identity in a very large market, and we are very grateful to them for that.”

“We had an extremely positive relationship with the Bulls last season as a development vehicle for players within our system and we look forward to continuing that agreement,” said Sharks GM Doug Wilson.

In 2012-13, the Sharks provided seven players to the Bulls, including goaltenders Thomas Heemskerk and Taylor Nelson, defenseman Mikael Tam, and forwards Marek Viedensky, Daniil Tarasov, Yanni Gourde and Tommy Grant. Since the end of the 2012-13 season, Tarasov signed a two-year NHL contract with San Jose.

“San Francisco provides a terrific option for us to place players in a situation where they can further develop themselves as hockey players,” said Sharks Assistant GM Joe Will. “Bulls Head Coach Pat Curcio and his staff do a great job preparing the players to succeed and Daniil is a perfect example of that. He worked hard in San Francisco and Worcester and earned an NHL contract on the merit of his play.”

The Sharks and Bulls share a common history, having both begun their playing histories at the legendary Cow Palace. The Sharks played their first two seasons (1991-92 and 1992-93) at the Cow Palace before moving to their current location in San Jose.

“It’s important for us as an organization to help grow the game of hockey at all levels in the Bay Area and the Bulls have done a great job putting a quality product on the ice,” said Sharks Chief Operating Officer John Tortora. “The Sharks Bay Area journey began in the San Francisco area and this is another opportunity for us to connect and engage with our many fans and supporters in the North Bay, which is home to more than 15% of our season ticket base.”