San Jose Sharks, now with Mike Grier, start coaching search

San Jose Sharks, now with Mike Grier, start coaching search

SAN JOSE – With Mike Grier set to be officially named the Sharks’ new general manager Tuesday, speculation immediately began as to who he would hire to be the team’s next head coach.

It didn’t take long for David Quinn’s name to be mentioned.

Grier, 47, is expected to be formally introduced as the Sharks’ general manager on Tuesday morning at SAP Center, as he becomes the first African-American GM in NHL history. One of his biggest decisions will be determining a replacement for Bob Boughner, who on Friday was abruptly fired as the Sharks’ coach, more than two months after the end of the regular season.

“We just came to the conclusion that, amongst everything else, we just want this fresh start moving forward with a general manager and a head coach,” Sharks interim GM Joe Will said last week. “That will also create the opportunity for the general manager to find their head coach and partner up with them moving forward.”

Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman noted in his podcast Tuesday that Grier and Quinn, 55, have connections to each other, as both played at Boston University under legendary former Terriers coach Jack Parker.

Grier was at BU from 1993 to 1996 before he started a 14-year NHL playing career. Quinn played there from 1984 to 1987 and had two five-year stints coaching the team, first as an associate coach under Parker from 2004 to 2009, and then as Parker’s replacement as the Terriers’ head coach from 2013 to 2018.

Quinn left BU in 2018 to become the coach of the New York Rangers, who were about to enter a self-described rebuild. The Rangers got some lottery luck, though, landing the No. 2 pick in 2019 to draft forward Kaapo Kakko, and the No. 1 selection in 2020, when they chose center Alexis Lafreniere.

Quinn’s Rangers went 96-87-25 over three years, making the qualification round of the 2020 postseason. Quinn was fired in May 2021 by new general manager Chris Drury.

It’s unclear how long the Sharks’ coaching search might take. Will said the Sharks’ new top hockey executive would have the autonomy to hire the next coach.

“They’re looking for teaching. They’re looking for culture and accountability, and they’re looking for somebody to manage and maximize the performance of this group to get the best out of the players and the assets that they’re given,” Will said about what qualities the new GM will be looking for in a new coach.

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