San Jose Sharks release forward Jeff Friesen before opener

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SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Sharks released Jeff Friesen from a tryout contract Thursday, ending the veteran forward's comeback bid a few hours before the club's season opener against Anaheim.

Friesen was given a chance during training camp to return to the Sharks. The popular 32-year-old Friesen played for the Sharks from 1994 until 2001 and was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in a deal for Teemu Selanne.

Friesen then played five NHL seasons with four teams, winning a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2003, but never showing the consistent scoring touch he had with the Sharks. He sat out of hockey last season except for a five-game tryout with the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters.

He was still with the Sharks when they trimmed their roster to 23 players earlier this week, but the club apparently didn't think Friesen was ready for consistent playing time at the expense of its younger players.

"Jeff had a very good camp, and he should be proud of his effort and his commitment," general manager Doug Wilson said. "He will always have a special place within the San Jose Sharks family."

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