Devin Cooley

Cooley becoming more than just feel-good story with Sharks

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Editor's Note:Sheng Peng will be a regular contributor to NBC Sports California’s Sharks coverage. You can read more of his coverage on San Jose Hockey Now, listen to him on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, and follow him on Twitter at @Sheng_Peng.

When the San Jose Sharks acquired Los Gatos native Devin Cooley at the NHL Trade Deadline, it was just a feel-good story, nothing more.

Cooley, after all, was an undrafted 26-year-old who had never played an NHL game. He hadn’t even really distinguished himself in the AHL either: In parts of four seasons, Cooley had a .900 Save % for the Chicago Wolves, Milwaukee Admirals, and Rochester Americans.

But the Sharks needed a goalie to pair with starter Mackenzie Blackwood. At the Deadline, they traded Kaapo Kahkonen for Vitek Vanecek, but Vanecek had a season-ending injury. Meanwhile, prospect Magnus Chrona was an option, but he was probably better served developing with the San Jose Barracuda in the AHL.

Cynically, the Sharks needed a feel-good story too, to take some of the heat off their fifth-straight season out of the playoffs.

GM Mike Grier, however, insisted on Mar. 8: “We made a trade for Devin Cooley, who our scouts had liked in the American League for the last few years, so he’ll get a chance to come up here and play some games with us.”

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