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Sturm Believes He’s in Sharks’ Plans, But His Faith Makes Him Ready for Anything



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Nico Sturm believes that he’s part of the San Jose Sharks’ plans. But if he isn’t, he’s okay with that.

“I had a really good conversation with Griersy a couple weeks before the Trade Deadline last year,” Sturm told San Jose Hockey Now about GM Mike Grier. “We had the same conversation this year, a couple of weeks ago.”

Sturm, 28, is a 6-foot-3 center, fifth in the NHL with a 59.5 Faceoff Winning %. He’s also the San Jose Sharks’ top penalty killer up front, won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2022, and is making just $2 million AAV with one year left on his contract.

He’s one of the better fourth-line centers in the league, and he knows it.

“It’s a pretty honest but also short conversation. I know where I’m at in my career. I know what I bring, they know what I bring,” Sturm said. “I know what I’m not as a player and what I’m not going to be anymore in my career, but I also think the type of player and the role that I am both on the ice and off the ice, I think I’m one of the best in filling that role.”

Sturm, however, doesn’t have any trade protections in his contract.

“I know that the way this business works, if there’s an offer that comes across where he thinks he can make the organization better in the long run, he has to do it,” he said. “But all the indication that I’ve gotten is that I bring a value. I got the feeling that I’m in the plans.”

And Sturm, who signed a three-year contract with the San Jose Sharks in the summer of 2022, wants to be here, despite the step back that San Jose has taken in the standings, going from one of the worst teams in the league last season to one of the worst teams of the cap era this year.

“I signed for three years and when I sign somewhere for three years, I am committing,” Sturm said. “So I told him that I’m still 100 percent with where we’re going.”

This Trade Deadline experience is much different than Sturm’s in 2022, when he was in the final year of his contract with the Minnesota Wild.

“I’m not worried at all,” he said. “I think that’s something that I’ve learned, after I went through it with my contract in Minnesota. It’s completely out of your hands, in the sense that, if you have a bad season, the team tries to get rid of you. If you have a good season, the team can get a lot for you.”

Sturm laughed: “It honestly doesn’t matter.”

Sturm credits his faith, most of all, for helping him stay within himself.

“I found my way back with some Bible groups that we had in Iowa, Minnesota over my pro career,” he revealed. “I was baptized as a kid and went to church with my mom, when I was a little kid.

“10 years of my life where I just didn’t have any connection to my faith or church in general at all anymore.”

But now, Sturm can give himself to a higher power.

“Just accepting that some things are out of your control, in a sense, and that I truly am in a much better spot where I know that regardless of what happens, I’m on the path that I’m meant to be,” he said. “I also trust that I think I have a certain value that I brought to this organization.

“I do think that has some certain value and all that experience, my faith, and where I am in my career, it gives me just peace.”

What also gives Sturm peace?

“I used to have Twitter, Snapchat, everything,” he said, of what he learned during the 2022 Trade Deadline, before he was dealt to the Colorado Avalanche for Tyson Jost.

“There’s absolutely no good that comes off you reading stuff online, you’re scrolling, you’re looking for positive things that have been written about you, and inevitably, you’ll stumble across the negativity,” he said, before admitting, “You read it and you think you don’t care what a stranger writes about you, but you read through a few things, it will be in the back of your mind. Yeah, it’s just human nature.”

Nowadays, Sturm is only on Instagram and WhatsApp for family.

“There’s some guys that they get all the Snapchats, Twitters, and they can read all the good stuff and bad stuff, it doesn’t touch them at all, great, but I’m not that way,” he said. “I know it affects me.”

Just knowing who you are is a power, and Sturm is a good example of it: “It’s better to stay off it and it’s been fantastic.”

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