The San Jose Sharks will begin their first National Hockey League season in less than 10 months and General Manager Jack Ferreira has a million "little things" to do, along with some bigger hurdles to overcome.

"A major consideration in {the San Francisco Bay area}, which doesn't have a lot of ice, is where to practice," Ferreira said. "It's really a big priority. So not only are we trying to get a building to play in in two years, but a practice facility for next fall."

The Sharks will play in San Francisco's Cow Palace (capacity 10,800) for their first two seasons, then move to an 18,000-seat arena being built in San Jose. They have sent a uniform and team logos to the league office for approval. Teal blue, gray, black and white will be the colors.

The players who will wear those colors won't arrive until summer, but the personnel process already is underway. The Sharks will be involved in more than one draft, so they are trying to cover all bases.

First, there will be a dispersal draft, in which they will get players from the Minnesota North Stars. Then comes the expansion draft, when they will get to pick players from other established teams. "We're trying to see the players on every team that will be on the bubble," Ferreira said.

Then comes the annual supplemental and entry draft in which all teams participate. The Sharks will have the second pick.

Because North Stars owner Norman Green isn't thrilled with the terms under which San Jose can take many Minnesota players, the Stars have refused to give San Jose scouts seats in their press box for games, as is the normal procedure.

"I think it's real petty," Ferreira said. "But I did have two season ticket holders from Minnesota offer their tickets. I contacted both and told them I might use them."

At the Board of Governors meeting last week, the Sharks were placed in the Smythe Division. That was the only thing the governors could decide about realignment.

They couldn't decide where to put the newest teams, Tampa Bay and Ottawa, which will start play in 1992. Part of the problem is that two of the five teams currently in the Smythe (Los Angeles and Winnipeg) don't want to be there under the current format. Both apparently want out for marketing reasons.

The Kings have no U.S. teams in their division. Aside from meaning extra time spent in customs every trip, it is difficult to sell the other Smythe cities in the entertainment capital of America.

As for Winnipeg, none of the other Smythe teams are in the same time zone. That plays havoc with television and radio schedules and reduces the financial take for a team that already is in a small market.

Both teams would like to move to the Norris Division.

"If I could pick my division, I'd pick the Norris, too," said Ferreira, whose franchise won't have a vote until it makes its final payment in June. "If both L.A. and us could be in there, it would be very attractive. But there are so many different proposals. Everyone has their own ideas." Change of Environs

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota North Stars swapped defensemen Tuesday. Former Capital Larry Murphy and Peter Taglianetti went to Pittsburgh and Jim Johnson and Chris Dahlquist moved to the North Stars.

It seems like an odd deal for the Penguins, in the sense that Murphy is an offensive defenseman and Johnson is more of a stay-at-home guy. Although they are in fifth place in the Patrick Division, the Penguins already have the high-scoring and fleet-footed defenseman Paul Coffey. Their problem continues to be stopping the other team. Only Toronto and Quebec have allowed more goals than the Penguins. 'I Dare Because I Care'

Sunday night at Chicago Stadium, Blackhawks goalie Ed Belfour, 18-8-1 with a 2.24 goals-against average, was yanked by Coach Mike Keenan in the first period of what was eventually a 5-4 loss to Philadelphia. Belfour wasn't pleased and apparently said something to Keenan. Then Keenan started talking to Belfour, only Belfour appeared not to pay attention. So, Keenan walked down the bench and grabbed his sweater to get his attention.

The Blackhawks fans, who fill and shake the old building on West Madison Street almost every night, began chanting, "Ed-dee, Ed-dee," in support of Belfour, and booing Keenan. Less than a minute later, Belfour was sent back in.

"I dare because I care," Keenan was quoted in the Chicago Tribune. "I run the risk of upsetting players; I know that. But I'm challenging them to be better."