The San Jose Sharks signed a new player on Tuesday. Most people have an image in their heads of what a hockey player is…tough, mean, missing teeth; if this is your vision of a hockey player, be prepared for the San Jose Sharks to blow that image away. The Sharks added 17-year-old Sam Tageson to their roster. The terms of the contract? One day. Yes, one day. Per team policy, financial terms weren’t announced, but from the smile on young Mr. Tageson’s face, you might have thought the Sharks paid him a million dollars.
It is, however, doubtful that any money changed hands. Sam Tageson is a life long fan of the San Jose Sharks, and was given his wish of one day with the team. Sam was born with a potentially fatal heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He will most likely require a heart transplant in the near future. With Sam’s condition considered dire, the Make A Wish Foundation stepped in, and worked with the San Jose Shark’s Foundation to turn Sam’s dream into a reality.
Sam has not let his heart defect hold him back. He is not only a hockey fan, but he is also hockey player. His father, Louis Tageson, discussing his son’s passion, told ABC 7’s David Louie:
“He eats, sleeps, and does everything hockey. I mean if he’s not outside playing hockey, he’s inside playing PlayStation hockey. There’s pretty much not a stat he doesn’t know.”
The San Jose Sharks went all out to make Tageson one of their own. He spent the entire day with the team. He practiced with them. Hung around the locker room before the game, soaking it all in. The Sharks weren’t finished…Tageson was introduced with the starting line up for the Tuesday night game against the Florida Panthers. As a ‘player’, he skated onto the ice, emerging from the San Jose Sharkhead, an honor bestowed only upon members of the team. When he was shown on the Jumbotron, Tageson was notably emotional, and became more so when the Sharks players gave him a hockey ovation, tapping their sticks on the boards.
The San Jose Sharks, who are in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, lost the game to the Panthers by a score of 3-2. After the game, none of the players were talking about losing the two points in the standings; the only disappointment felt was by a team that wanted to win a game for one of their biggest fans. It is doubtful that Sam Tageson was very upset that his beloved San Jose Sharks didn’t win the game; for one night, he wasn’t just a fan of the Sharks, he was a Shark.