It was a whirlwind experience for Ryan Dzingel to make his way to the San Jose Sharks.
The winger was traded from the Arizona Coyotes to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, and promptly put on waivers. The Sharks snapped him up yesterday.
If Dzingel had been kept within the Leafs’ organization, he would have been a depth player, kept in the minors. Here, the two-time 20-goal scorer has an opportunity to prove himself as a valuable asset to the goal-starved Sharks.
“I haven’t scored too much in the last few months, but I’m going to have an opportunity to score goals with people who make plays now,” Dzingel said this morning. “I bring speed and I bring a goal-scoring touch. That’s my two biggest things, getting on the forecheck and trying to make bad things happen out there so we get the puck.”
San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner will start Ryan Dzingel with Rudolfs Balcers and Logan Couture tonight in Anaheim, which makes sense given his time with Balcers with the Ottawa Senators.
“Those are two great players, and Couture’s been around a long time and he’s an absolute stud,” Dzingel offered. “I’ve played with Balcers before, so he’ll be familiar with him. I’ve just got to get open in the right places.”
Dzingel also brings loads of personality: “I like to bring the energy. I like to keep it loose and keep the younger guys up – it’s tough in this league for some of the younger guys, and you think everything is the end of the world, day by day. So I just try to keep it light and help them.”
Dzingel will be keeping things light for some familiar faces too. His time with the Ottawa Senators overlapped with Erik Karlsson and Balcers, and of course, he knows James Reimer from their shared time with the Carolina Hurricanes.
As for what happened in Arizona, Dzingel wasn’t saying much. The 29-year-old had notched just four goals and three assists in just 26 games in the desert.
“I didn’t like the opportunity I was getting, and it just is what it is. Sometimes it happens in this business. They’ve got guys playing well, or guys not playing well and getting a job, so it just is what it is and it happens to a lot of different people,” said Dzingel.
He added: “I played center there for the first time, and I was trying to get comfortable doing that and not back to the wing. So that was on me too. It wasn’t my best.”
Dzingel had nicer things to say about a Maple Leafs organization that he never suited up for.
“Nothing but great things to say about Kyle Dubas, the way he handled it and what he did for me,” said Dzingel, who’s been waiting out a move in Arizona. “Basically [he] said he’ll get me playing somewhere in the NHL. He was straight-up honest with me. All the respect to him and the way he handled it. At first, you know, some things don’t look like a good thing, and then they turn out to be a huge blessing. So, you got to always take everything, that maybe look bad at the time and now I’m here with a huge opportunity.”
“[He] called me…and was honest. You don’t find that a lot in this league,” Dzingel reaffirmed.
So it’s a new day for Dzingel, going from a rebuilding Coyotes mired in arena-woes to a team like the San Jose Sharks, who are still hoping to make a playoff run.
“I’m just looking forward to the future,” he said, “not the past.”
Ryan Dzingel 🤝 San Flow-se pic.twitter.com/V0BMK0Ny7l
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) February 22, 2022
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