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Grier Not Saying Much About Why He Fired Quinn, Who’s Next as Sharks Head Coach

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

At least today, Mike Grier wasn’t saying much about firing David Quinn.

Grier says it wasn’t really about the San Jose Sharks’ 19-54-9 record this past season. And from a distance, it appeared as if the rebuilding team’s youngsters like William Eklund, Thomas Bordeleau, and Henry Thrun were on the right developmental track.

“I knew what the roster was and wasn’t expecting us to be a playoff team,” Grier said, of a decision that he says he reached last night about his fellow Boston University alum and long-time friend, who he hired just two summers ago. “It’s all part of the autopsy of the season. you know, all those things go into it. Talking with the staff here. Players, owner, everyone who’s in the hockey ops department, that’s part of the process of evaluating everything.”

Grier wouldn’t elaborate beyond that: “There were some things, I don’t really want to get into too much that we would have liked to have seen better.”

Okay, so what is Grier looking for from the new head coach of the San Jose Sharks?

“I think that’s something I’m not ready to get into,” he said. “I think meeting with the players and reviewing this season, I think I have an idea of what they’re looking for, what they need, and what I think they need. I’ll keep that internally, for now.”

Grier said he had no timeline for a decision about his new head coach. But he’s leaving the futures of assistant coaches Ryan Warsofsky, Scott Gordon, and Brian Wiseman, and perhaps goaltending coach Thomas Speer, to his new bench boss. In the interim, those coaches can seek new positions outside of the San Jose Sharks.

Grier also let go head athletic trainer Ray Tufts, 27 years with the team. Grier says it wasn’t because of the Sharks’ 459 man games lost this past season, second in the league.

“He’s done a heck of a job taking care of our players and treating our players for such a long time. Part of a lot of success here,” Grier said. “I think it was just, another situation that as we move forward, we thought it was in the best interest of the organization.”

Grier also thinks that San Jose Barracuda head coach John McCarthy is the right steward for the club’s AHL prospects.

“We’re still working through the Barracuda stuff. Right now, I would expect Johnny Mac to be back,” Grier said. “We’ll have to see how his assistants go. Both their contracts are up. That’s a whole ‘nother subject.”

That’s assistant coach Kyle Hagel, who worked with the Cuda forwards, and Louis Mass, who worked with the defensemen.

But back up to the NHL: For the young Sharks, would an also-young head coach with at least some pro hockey experience and who could grow with this group make sense?

“Those are definitely things that have come to mind. I’m not going to rule out anything or anyone if a candidate comes up that blows us away,” Grier said. “At the same time, I think someone who’s had some sort of time or experience in the NHL would definitely be beneficial, or pro hockey would be beneficial.”

Grier will have to explain his parameters for a new head coach soon enough. Perhaps he’ll explain why he fired his first coaching hire and friend someday.

“Just felt it was what we needed to do and get a new, different voice for the group, where the group is now, and what’s needed for the group,” he said.

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