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  • "I had the feeling that I would either be picked up in expansion or traded. The writing was on the wall as far as Buffalo was concerned. They knew if I was there another year, I would grow unhappy, not being given the opportunity to prove myself. They made a move that was in my best interest. I think this is the best possible place for me to be. I was looking at the teams where I would be a good fit and it seemed like San Jose would give me the best opportunity to further my development. There's a veteran in front of me that I can learn from. Obviously a goaltender of Mike Vernon's caliber has a lot to offer, with two Stanley Cup rings and wealth of experience. But it's also going to give me the opportunity to play some games and prove that I can eventually, hopefully be a number one goalie in this league." -Steve Shields

  • "I know the coaching staff expects hard work and that's all I have to offer is my hardest work. If that's good enough for them, then this is going to be a great situation." -Steve Shields

  • "I got the feeling that the Sharks were happy to have me and I'm ecstatic to be coming here. All I can do is work hard and make sure I'm prepared to play. I'm going to give myself the best opportunity I can to be a number one goalie down the line." -Steve Shields

  • "In the NHL, he played behind Hasek and learned a lot. He played under pressure in the playoffs. His stats are there. His win-loss isn't great, but you play behind a guy like Hasek and I think the team tends to let down when that number two guy is slipped in there, much like Kelly [Hrudey]." -Wayne Thomas, Sharks Assistant GM

  • "If Shields is the guy that we think he is, it'll help Vernon, because he'll have less minutes. Makes him better. You saw last year, when he was tired, he wasn't as good. When we could use him properly, he was really effective. But we'll have to see. Shields has to prove he can win games for us." -Darryl Sutter

  • "I'm coming from a situation where I didn't get the opportunity to prove myself. It looks like I will get that opportunity now. I go into this season realizing that the amount of time I play is going to be dictated by how well I play when I get the chance." -Steve Shields

  • "It [Steve's playoff performance] demonstrated to a lot of people that I could play at this level and make a difference, compete in big games and win. I started to build a bit of a name for myself and a bit of respect around the league." -Steve Shields

  • "They were good to me in Buffalo. But when you're playing behind the best goalie in the world, there's really nowhere to go. You're not going to beat the other guy out of the number one job. In San Jose, there's a clear-and-away number one guy in front of me, but I think the Sharks are looking for a little more of a team effort out of the goaltenders. " -Steve Shields

  • "Steve Shields has had a great progression. He's improved his game, become a smarter goaltender. He's a big, competitive kid. He's got all the tools.. He just needs a little time in net." -Wayne Thomas

  • "He's played behind a great goaltender in Hasek and now he wants more. He's at the age where, hopefully, he's ready for that. You want him chomping at the bit." -Darryl Sutter

  • "There's no time for negativity. I have a naturally positive attitude and that's helped me achieve the goals that I've set for myself. No matter what happens, I'm going to keep on an even keel and keep plugging along." -Steve Shields

  • "Even before the trade, I looked at the situations all around the league and felt that this was the best place for me to be. There's a good mix of youth and experience. The team is going in the right direction. They have a plan and know what it's going to take to be successful. I think the next few years here are going to be really exciting." -Steve Shields

  • "But his greatest strength is his ability to compete. He's such a competitor. You can see it in how he practices. It's to a point in practice where you have to tell him to focus on what's important and not get mad at himself." -Darryl Sutter

  • "How the f*** did he stop that????" -Paul Kariya, Sharks vs. Anaheim 12/6/98