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Sharks Want To Bring Back Full Barracuda Coaching Staff



Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

The San Jose Sharks organization appears to be giving a full vote of confidence to the San Jose Barracuda coaching staff.

Last week, when GM Mike Grier fired Sharks head coach David Quinn, Grier also noted that he was keeping Barracuda head coach John McCarthy. However, assistant coaches Kyle Hagel and Louis Mass’s futures seemed to be in question.

McCarthy, like Quinn, missed the playoffs in his two years behind a San Jose bench. But Grier emphasized how McCarthy and his staff had developed San Jose Sharks prospects at the AHL level.

“When things weren’t going well, they stuck with it—the development days and the coaching and the teaching that they continue to do and the time they continue to put in with the players to try and get our young guys better was good,” Grier said in his exit interview on Apr. 20. “The staff deserves credit for the development of some of our young guys.”

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That said, when Grier let Quinn go, he separated McCarthy from his assistants.

“I would expect Johnny Mac to be back,” the San Jose Sharks GM said. “We’ll have to see how his assistants go. Both their contracts are up. That’s a whole ‘nother subject.”

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San Jose Hockey Now is hearing that both Hagel, who works with the Barracuda forwards, and Mass, who works with the defensemen, should be offered extensions. Unless something goes awry in negotiations or they’re offered promotions elsewhere or something else currently unforeseen, the Cuda should return with the same coaching staff as last year.

Under McCarthy and this staff, the Barracuda are 55-68-12-9, losing the tiebreaker for the last Pacific Division playoff berth in 2022-23 and missing by 17 points this past season.


“The year [Ethan] Cardwell had, he kept getting better and better. Shakir [Mukhamadullin] and even Brandon Coe, who was in and out of the lineup, but if you watched in the last month, he’s played some really good hockey,” Grier said. “Even Jack Thompson, I think the staff deserves a lot of credit there. When he got here, young kid, first time traded, was really struggling. I think Johnny and his staff did a good job of helping him feel comfortable there in the system—almost let him play freely and get his feet under him. Before he was called up, he was playing really good hockey for them down there.”

That said, like with the San Jose Sharks, expectations appear to be higher for the Barracuda next year.

“Not too dissimilar from up here, we have to get harder to play against. We gotta get more speed down there and more size, more hardness down there. If we can get that and get an injection of the young players, hopefully that group can take a step, because like I said, it was disappointing,” Grier said, putting that on himself and Barracuda GM Joe Will. “Hopefully, they can play meaningful hockey down there—it’s just as important for a young player as it is [to be] up here playing NHL games. If they can get the feel of being in a playoff race or being in playoff games as a young player, it’s important.”

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