After David Quinn officially became the San Jose Sharks coach on July 26, he began to reach out to several of the team’s players, including some individual face-to-face meetings in Canada with veterans like Logan Couture, Erik Karlsson, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
With regards to hockey, though, the real get-to-know-yous begin this week.
For the first time since 2015 when Pete DeBoer and company arrived, the Sharks are getting used to a completely new coaching staff, as Quinn, with assistants Scott Gordon, Brian Wiseman, and Ryan Warsofsky, start their first training camp together on Thursday at the team’s practice facility in San Jose.
“The players are on their toes a little more, no question about it,” said NHL Network analyst Ken Daneyko, who played for 11 coaches over a 20-year career with the New Jersey Devils. “I think that’s a good thing. The slate is wiped clean.”
The Sharks went in a new direction after three straight years without a playoff appearance, firing coach Bob Boughner and assistants John MacLean, John Madden, and Dan Darrow on July 1.
That cleared the decks for Mike Grier, named the Sharks’ general manager shortly after Boughner was let go, to bring in his own staff.
It didn’t take long for Grier to hire Quinn, who had spent the previous few months coaching Team USA at the Olympics in Beijing and World Championships in Latvia after three seasons as the New York Rangers bench boss.
With both of those American teams, Quinn had to quickly get everyone on the same page, something he’ll need to do in a truncated Sharks camp with the start of their regular season just over two weeks away.
“One of the things we want to be is a tenacious, fast team,” Quinn said this summer. “A team that plays on top of people, taking away time and space, a structured team that plays with freedom.”
The Sharks already have a few players who know what to expect from Quinn.