Former SJ Shark and Holy Cross Alum joins Worcester

Sharks sign Massachusetts native and Holy Cross Alum Patrick Rissmiller
By Matt Metcalf

The Sharks announced yesterday that they’ve signed former Holy Cross standout, and Belmont, Massachusetts native, Patrick Rissmiller. Rissmiller has plenty of experience at both the AHL and NHL levels. He’s played in 192 NHL games with four different teams, including two full seasons with the San Jose Sharks, compiling 18 goals and 28 assists for 46 points at the NHL level.

Although he’s coming in midseason, he will be greeted by some familiar faces, as he played under head coach Roy Sommer and associate coach David Cunniff with the Cleveland Barons of the AHL earlier in his career.

“He can play,” Sommer said. “He has a lot of offensive talent. He’s very good at protecting the puck and he has a big body. He may not be the fastest skater, but once he gets going he makes a lot of plays and makes a lot of things happen.”

It should be interesting to see where Rissmiller will fit into this Sharks team, who will undoubtedly see a number of roster changes in the coming week, due to the end of the NHL lockout. However, with the amount of experience that Rissmiller has, he seems like the perfect fit for a young team that’s found its groove as of late.

“I’m not sure where he’ll fit in yet, we’ll have to see where we’re at,” Sommer said. “It depends on what guys go up to San Jose and make it and what guys don’t. We’ll kind of fit him in as an offensive guy. He’ll be on the power play and he’ll probably be on the top couple of lines. We’ll know either today or tomorrow what guys are going and what guys are staying, but there’ll probably be a pretty good airlift.”

With a number of changes that will presumably be made, Sommer and Cunniff will have the task of keeping the guys that remain in their locker room focused on a playoff run. Rissmiller could certainly aid to that task, as he’s played in 30 NHL playoff games and knows what it takes to get there.

“Everyone moves up a notch, depending on who goes,” Sommer said. “Guys who were playing fourth line will now be first and second line guys. Defensemen who come up from the ECHL now have an opportunity to show us what they can do and we’ll have to play it by air. It should be interesting. I don’t know if every team will be in the same situation as us, but I guess we’ll find out tomorrow night.”

Come check out Rissmiller in his return to Worcester, when the Worcester Sharks host the Springfield Falcons tomorrow night at the DCU Center at 7:30pm.

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