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Nyjer plans to skate with Sharks

Nyjer plans to skate with Sharks

Nyjer plans to skate with Sharks
MILWAUKEE -- Nyjer Morgan needs another alter ego, and Brewers fans on Twitter were more than happy to help.

Tony Puck.

Sergei Plushkov.

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You can bet that Morgan -- a.k.a. Tony Plush and a myriad of other monikers -- will come up with something good when the Brewers outfielder returns to his sporting roots this week. Morgan is set to skate with his hometown San Jose Sharks during their practice on Wednesday afternoon.

Tony Power Play?

Morgan, a Bay Area native who grew up playing hockey, remains an avid fan. But he gave up on the sport about a decade ago to focus on baseball, a choice that took him and his alter egos all the way to the Major Leagues and a spot in Brewers history after delivering the hit that propelled the team to last year's National League Championship Series. He's already re-signed for 2012, but Brewers position players don't have their first Spring Training workout until Feb. 25. That gives Morgan a chance to lace up his skates.

"I'm really excited to get on the ice with the team," Morgan told the Sharks' website. "I've been a diehard fan since the team came to San Jose in 1991. I will never forget the George Kingston and Patty Falloon days. I'm not sure the guys are ready for me!"

Before making the full-time switch to baseball, Morgan played seven games for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, posting two goals and 20 penalty minutes. The National Hockey League's Sharks took note when Morgan wore their sweater with his Brewers No. 2 on the back during a correspondent piece for the sports talk show "Rome Is Burning."

"We're excited to see what he can do out here," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. "We knew he had a hockey background, and when we saw him on Jim Rome wearing our sweater, we wanted to invite him to get on the ice with us."

Brewers officials, who lost pitcher Zack Greinke for the first month of last season after he cracked a rib playing pickup basketball, simply hope Morgan has his fun safely. Among them is assistant general manager Gord Ash, another avid hockey fan who holds an ownership in the Milwaukee Admirals, an affiliate of the NHL's Nashville Predators.

Ash said Morgan did not need approval from the Brewers for Wednesday's extracurricular endeavor. Technically, the one-year deal Morgan signed earlier this month is non-guaranteed.

"Given his background and his hockey abilities, I don't believe it's an issue," Ash said. "As he told me, 'I am an athlete.'"

Morgan still lives in San Jose and is a big Sharks fan. After watching his San Francisco 49ers fall just short of the Super Bowl, he made a bold prediction for the Bay Area's hockey franchise.

"Sharks are going to win it all," he said on Sunday during a break at "Brewers On Deck," the team's annual fanfest in Milwaukee. "Sharks are going to the [Stanley Cup]. Cup is going to the Bay."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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