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Jack Han Doesn’t Think Karlsson Is Still a Top-Pairing D-Man

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OTTAWA — How can the San Jose Sharks give second leases of life to Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns?

Fresh off watching the Sharks shut out the Canadiens 5-0, hockey tactics guru Jack Han shares his thoughts about the San Jose roster. Jack, by the way, has released a new book, Hockey Tactics 2021 — get it here and use the code SHENG5 to get $5 off.

Last April, Jack wrote a fairly critical article of Jonathan Dahlen titled “What’s the Deal With Jonathan Dahlén?” Has Dahlen’s early NHL success changed Han’s mind at all about him (34:00)?

Han has also been critical of Erik Karlsson’s game in recent years: He tells us why he thinks Karlsson isn’t a top-pairing defenseman anymore (41:09).

Perhaps surprisingly, Han reserves some love for Karlsson’s partner, the much-maligned Jake Middleton. Well, love might be a strong word, but Han shows some appreciation for what Middleton does much better technically than Karlsson (47:50).

Next, we take a page straight out of Hockey Tactics 2021, and chat with Jack about how Joe Pavelski has beat back Father Time despite some decline in his physical skills. Can the San Jose Sharks learn anything from how the Dallas Stars have put the right players around Pavelski? (52:30)

Han also talks about why Alexander Barabanov fits the Sharks’ system (55:50) — Jack helped scout Barabanov for the Toronto Maple Leafs organization — which relates to the on-the-ice reasons why the Sharks might have chosen to re-sign Evander Kane over Pavelski (58:50).

Jack then lavishes praise on William Eklund and thinks he could do for Karlsson and Burns a little of what Joe Thornton did for Dan Boyle and Burns (59:42).

Jack Han also made a video detailing why the San Jose Sharks have got off to such a fantastic start on the PP — Jack gives love to character actor Nick Bonino.

Finally, Jack answers some burning questions: Did the San Jose Sharks ruin Ryan Merkley’s development (1:08:00)? What’s their path to making the playoffs (1:12:25)?

Thanks, Jack! You can get his Hockey Tactics 2021 or Hockey Tactics Retrospective: 1975-1986 or Hockey Tactics 2020 or subscribe to his free newsletter Hockey Tactics Newsletter.

Before Nick Flohr and I chatted with Jack, we dug into what’s next for Evander Kane and the San Jose Sharks.

If there was any doubt about the organization’s feelings about Kane, their reaction to Kane’s suspension probably tells you a lot (9:30).

Is there a possibility of a Mike Richards-like settlement between the Sharks and Kane?

What’s the cost of buying out Kane next off-season? (23:30)

Follow the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast on Twitter — and listen here for all things San Jose Sharks:

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[…] Jack Han Doesn’t Think Karlsson Is Still a Top-Pairing D-Man […]

[…] dinner, we hashed out details of our podcast interview — over poutine is where Jack first revealed his admiration for Jake Middleton’s game […]

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