February 8, 2018 - 6:20 pm
Updated February 8, 2018 - 7:19 pm
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Golden Knights’ name and sharp-looking logo may not be big with the United States Army these days. But fans seem to like it. A lot.
According to Fanatics, which oversees the league’s online shop, the Knights rank No. 4 in the NHL when it comes to merchandise sales. That includes jerseys, shirts and hats along with other items.
The New York Rangers are the No. 1 team in sales, followed by the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. The Chicago Blackhawks are third, followed by the Knights and Boston Bruins.
Sales numbers and financial figures were not disclosed by Fanatics or the NHL to ESPN.com, which first reported the story.
Burns builds on status
Brent Burns doesn’t know if he’s going to win a second Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman. But the 32-year-old star of the San Jose Sharks said he didn’t change a thing after winning the honor last June.
“Nope. Still doing what I do,” Burns said Thursday prior to the Sharks facing the Golden Knights at SAP Center. “I just work.”
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer has noticed a difference with Burns, who this year has nine goals, 35 assists and 44 points, second-most among the league’s defensemen.
“I think every year he’s more comfortable,” DeBoer. “Part of it with Burns is his realizing ‘I’m the best defenseman in the world’ on a given night. I think he’s comfortable now in that role.
“He’s handled the adversity of when it hasn’t gone well. He has shown a maturity where before a bad play or a bad night would lead to a bad week or a bad month. You don’t see that anymore.”
Back in the Bay Area
Ryan Carpenter had been with the Sharks organization since being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He was waived by San Jose on Dec. 12 after playing parts of three seasons with the Sharks. He was claimed by the Knights the next day.
Carpenter returned to the Bay Area on Thursday playing regular minutes and contributing offensively with goals in each of his last two games.
“Yeah, there’s probably a little extra juice coming back here,” Carpenter said after the team’s morning skate at SAP Center. “But you don’t want to try and overthink it. Just go out and play.”
Carpenter, who has appeared in seven games with the Knights, is currently playing with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Alex Tuch and is taking a turn on the penalty-killing unit. He said playing with Bellemare has been enjoyable so far.
He’s got really good vision, and he’s a really good hockey player,” Carpenter said of Bellemare. “He really sees the ice well, and he makes a lot of good plays.”