SAN JOSE –- Metallica front man James Hetfield finds it a little difficult to get down to see the Sharks these days now that he’s a family man, but don’t call him a bandwagon fan.
The 51-year-old rock star has been attending Sharks games since before they moved into their 21-year-old current home.
“When they first came to San Jose, I went to some games when they were at the Cow Palace,” Hetfield said. “[I] just like hockey. I live in Marin [County], there’s not a lot of hockey going on there.”
“I might make a couple a year. It’s a long haul with three kids and school nights. It’s tough. But we do. I gather up, especially my boy and his buddies, father-son night. We come out and have a good time.”
Hetfield, along with bandmates Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo were on hand at SAP Center on Wednesday for Metallica Night, as the Sharks hosted the Los Angeles Kings in their final game before the All-Star break.
The trio was set to drop the ceremonial first puck and be a part of the game presentation for the evening, while fans received a commemorative Metallica-themed Sharks t-shirt with the number “81” on the back, for the year that the band was founded.
“This is an honor to be able to hook up and keep it local. We love that,” Hetfield said. “The fact that we’re considered a mainstay of this area -- obviously the Sharks are as well. You join together, it makes sense.”
Hetfield revealed that the band is currently working on another album, after their previous release, “Death Magnetic,” went platinum just six weeks after its release in 2008.
The rocker offered his take on the theory that rock stars secretly wish to be professional athletes, and vice versa.
“I think my athlete days are long gone. Me trying to ski -- they’ve been trying to keep me off a skateboard and all that,” he said. “I have to try to stay safe for my kids. I want to meet my grandkids. Me getting out there on the ice, you don’t want that.”
He's hopeful that the band helps to generate a much-needed win for the Sharks, after they've lost five of their last six at home. He didn't rule out another Metallica-night in the future, either.
"We need a win," he said. "Pump the place up. Be a part of it. Be a part of making some history here, and be an annual thing. We'd love that."