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REPORT: Penguins Adding Quinn to Coaching Staff

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Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

It appears that David Quinn has found a new home.

Arthur Staple of The Athletic reported today that Quinn would be joining Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan’s staff, taking over for Todd Reirden as associate coach.

The rebuilding San Jose Sharks fired head coach Quinn on Apr. 24, after he went 41-98-25 in two seasons.

Sullivan and Quinn are long-time friends, Boston University teammates from 1986 to 1988.

Reirden ran the Pens’ defense and power play, so Sullivan could be looking to rekindle the magic that Quinn had with Erik Karlsson on the San Jose Sharks in 2022-23.

Most thought Karlsson’s best years were behind him when Quinn took over behind the San Jose bench then. It had been five years since the 32-year-old had been a Norris Trophy finalist.

But Quinn opened up the Sharks’ attack, which helped Karlsson to 101 points, the first time since 1991-92 and Brian Leetch that a defenseman had crossed the century mark in scoring.

Karlsson won the third Norris Trophy of his career, and was traded to the Penguins two months later.

One way where Quinn opened the offense up was letting Karlsson to go bombs away with stretch passes, which had been discouraged by previous head coach Bob Boughner. Boughner thought a more conservative defensive game would yield more wins for San Jose. He wasn’t wrong, but Karlsson’s production suffered in kind.

Erik Karlsson Is Erik Karlsson Once Again

At the 2022-23 All-Star break, Karlsson was first in the NHL in 5-on-5 Stretch Pass Attempts Per 20. In 2021-22, he was 91st of 177 qualified defensemen.

Of course, Quinn won’t have the same latitude that he had in San Jose to change how Pittsburgh plays. But regardless, he’s a good bet to get the most out of Karlsson.

The San Jose Sharks have yet to hire a new head coach.

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