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Preview/Lines #30: Coyotes Moving Out of Rebuild, When Will Sharks Come Out of It?

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

PHOENIX — David Quinn didn’t really want to talk about it, but the Arizona Coyotes might be the pace car for the San Jose Sharks.

In 2021-22, the rebuilding Coyotes started 0-10-1. They were able to play themselves back to respectability, going 20-16-3 after that, before the Trade Deadline and a couple late-season losing streaks knocked them back down.

Two years later, and after a fairly aggressive off-season where they added Sean Durzi, Alexander Kerfoot, Jason Zucker, and Matt Dumba, the Coyotes are knocking on the door of the playoffs, one point out of the last wild card spot.

This season, the rebuilding Sharks started 0-10-1. They’ve played themselves back to respectability, going 9-7-2 since then.

Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports jumped on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast recently to discuss some of these Sharks/Yotes parallels:

Craig Morgan on What Sharks Can Learn From Coyotes’ Rebuild + Our Thoughts on Addison Trade

This past summer, Arizona got out of the rebuild and began their playoff push. This made sense, in part, because their rebuild had yielded a star like Clayton Keller, and other core younger pieces like Matias Maccelli and J.J. Moser. They had something to build around.

The Sharks aren’t quite there yet, in terms of proven impact youngsters. Mario Ferraro can be a stalwart, but he’s not enough to build a playoff push around. Promising wingers William Eklund and Fabian Zetterlund might be there in two years time. Who knows who else might be joining them?

A good illustration of where the Sharks are as a franchise versus the Coyotes took place in the off-season, actually.

After San Jose traded Erik Karlsson, they were in sore need of a power play quarterback. But understandably, considering where they were as a franchise, they didn’t want to overinvest in one, be it with a fat contract or premium prospects/draft capital.

After Arizona traded Shayne Gostisbehere and Jakob Chychrun last season, they were in sore need of a power play quarterback. And they were aggressive on that front before the Draft, acquiring 25-year-old Sean Durzi from the Los Angeles Kings for a second-round pick.

The Sharks, instead, started the season with a five-forward power play top unit, before overextending stay-at-home Kyle Burroughs as their No. 1 PP quarterback. Finally, in November, they took Calen Addison off the Minnesota Wild’s hands for a fifth-round pick and Adam Raska.

It’s just two franchises in two different places.

“I don’t think we spend much time watching what other people are doing. I understand the question, but at the end of the day, you got to take care of what you’re doing,” Quinn said this morning. “Everybody’s in different situations and the path and the timelines are all different. All we’re worried about is continuing to improve and play a style that is going to allow us to have success.”

Hopefully, in two years, like Arizona figured out with Keller, San Jose will know what they’ve got in Eklund and Will Smith and more. And hopefully, it’s good things.

San Jose Sharks (9-17-3)

Kaapo Kahkonen will start, Givani Smith is in.

Nico Sturm, Ryan Carpenter, and Logan Couture are not traveling on this road trip.

This is how they practiced yesterday:

Arizona Coyotes (13-13-2)

Where To Watch

Puck drop between the San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes is 6 PM PT at Mullett Arena. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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