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Quinn’s First Thoughts About Granlund



Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

David Quinn knew that Mikael Granlund might be coming back in the Erik Karlsson trade.

“I’ve heard his name involved, a guy that we might get back,” the San Jose Sharks head coach told San Jose Hockey Now after the trade. “So I’ve talked to a bunch of guys that have played with him and coaches that have coached him. And a lot of great things said about him.”

On Aug. 6, San Jose traded reigning Norris Trophy winner Karlsson, prospect Dillon Hamaliuk, and a 2026 third-round pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a three-team deal that also involved the Montreal Canadiens. The Penguins sent the Sharks a 2024 first-round pick, along with veterans Granlund and Jan Rutta. The Canadiens added veteran Mike Hoffman on top of that.

Center-winger Granlund, 31, is hoping to bounce back after a difficult stint in Pittsburgh.

Last Trade Deadline, the Penguins acquired Granlund from the Nashville Predators, hoping the two-way forward would solidify their secondary scoring and help secure a playoff spot. Instead, Granlund put up just five points in 21 games and Pittsburgh just missed the post-season.

“It’s always a tough situation [to get traded at the Trade Deadline]. It happened to me [in] my first trade from Minnesota to Nashville. It took me a little bit of time to get adjusted and that was the same thing,” Granlund himself noted. “Everything happens really fast. You’re [in] a call. You’re in a new team. There’s a lot of new faces. The team has a different style of play. There’s new teammates and you need to figure out what they’re doing out there as well.”

Granlund ‘Confident’ He’ll Be Better for Sharks, Rutta ‘Should Be’ Ready for Camp

Quinn is hoping that starting the season with his new team will help the 5-foot-10 left-hander acclimate: “Granlund is a guy, maybe hasn’t been as productive as he was earlier in his career.”

Before getting dealt to the Pens, Granlund averaged a robust 0.71 Points Per Game with Minnesota and Nashville from 2016 to 2023. Over an 82-game season, that’s a 58-point pace.

“This is an opportunity for him to kind of reset himself with two centers,” Quinn said. “One of things that’s a luxury for us, when you get centers like Couture and Hertl, they may allow those guys to be better and more productive offensively.”

Does that mean Granlund will start at wing, next to the San Jose Sharks’ top centers, Logan Couture or Tomas Hertl?

Quinn wouldn’t commit to that: “We’re looking forward to having him, where he ends up playing, it’ll certainly be determined in training camp.”

Granlund might also benefit from softer match-ups as San Jose’s third-line center. This could make the Sharks actually deep up the middle with Couture, Hertl, Granlund, and Nico Sturm.

Hypothetically, Hertl could also move back to wing, where he started his NHL career.

Regardless, good news for the San Jose Sharks, Granlund isn’t too far from his best hockey. In 2021-22, Granlund actually led all forwards for the playoff-bound Nashville Predators in ice-time and registered a career-high 53 assists. He was on the Preds’ top power play unit and was a regular penalty killer.

Looking big picture, if Granlund can get back to being that player, it’ll be relatively easy for GM Mike Grier to flip him, even with two years at $5 million AAV left on his contract.

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