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Debating Sharks’ Rebuild With Pierre McGuire, Jimmy Murphy



Welcome to the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast!

Joining us this week are long-time broadcaster and hockey executive Pierre McGuire and Bruins insider Jimmy Murphy, hosts of The Eye Test Podcast! (50:40) They’re joining us to talk all about their recent Mar. 20th episode of their podcast where they shared some less-than-optimistic views of the current state of the San Jose Sharks.

But before we get to the interview, what do we want from the Sharks before the end of the season? Can we get Devin Cooley a win in San Jose? (1:55)

Klim Kostin has taken advantage of his ice-time after his trade to the Sharks, what’s behind his recent success? (6:05)

Another bright spot lately has been the play of Mackenzie Blackwood, who posted a rare San Jose Sharks shutout this week. (13:30)

We turn our discussion to the NCAA tourney, and the play of Will Smith and 2024 prospect Artyom Levshunov in the NCAA Tournament. (17:30)

Filip Bystedt, San Jose’s 2022 first-rounder is coming to San Jose! (29:10)

Lastly, Sheng and Keegan discuss the Jack Studnicka recall to the San Jose Sharks, why it happened, and what this means for Danil Gushchin. (36:35)

Finally, we have Pierre McGuire and Jimmy Murphy to get some perspective on the Sharks from outside San Jose (50:40).

Setting the stage, Sheng outlines some of the statements by Jimmy and Pierre on the Sharks’ rebuild, made of the Mar. 20 episode of “The Eye Test” podcast. He also lays out what Grier has done differently since being hired in the summer of 2022. (52:30)

Pierre admits Mike inherited a bad situation, but asks the question about how the Sharks are planning on being better next year? (1:00:00)

Jimmy jumps in and shares his thoughts about the perception of the Sharks’ lack of a positive environment around the younger players in the locker room. (1:04:13)

Sheng thinks Grier is going to reset this offseason and sign more “character” guys to help mentor the young guys. (1:07:10)

Pierre has spoken with other hockey executives and he thinks it’s another 5-7 years to “fix” the San Jose Sharks. (1:08:40)

Pierre also talks about the art of team-building and why it may be difficult to attract free agents to San Jose. (1:10:20)

Pierre mentions an upcoming 2024 Draft prospect (not Macklin Celebrini) that he thinks the Sharks may target in they don’t land the No. 1 pick. (1:11:20)

Jimmy would put a focus on veteran depth to improve the culture heading into the offseason. (1:14:30)

Pierre thinks the goal-differential (the San Jose Sharks are -133 currently) is the most important thing to correct next year by changing the defense. (1:17:00)

Pierre doesn’t put stock into the idea of Noah Hanifin coming to San Jose in the off-season, and Jimmy brings up that taxes in California may be a real issue. (1:26:00)

Sheng defends Erik Karlsson’s Norris Trophy, specifically how his plus/minus was affected by a ton of empty net goals. (1:30:05)

Keegan brings up a misstep by Doug Wilson extending veteran players in hopes of winning a Stanley Cup, after they never won a Stanley Cup in the first place. (1:31:05)

Jimmy points out that almost every Sharks defender is at best a third-pairing defender, aside from Mario Ferraro. (1:33:35)

Finally Keegan asks Sheng, Pierre, and Jimmy, would they have traded Tomas Hertl? (1:39:15)

Sheng defends the trade!

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We should fund the bar tab for a meet up of Sharks coach David Quinn and A’s manager Mark Kotsay

Fin Coe

The required amount would probably cover Sheng’s travel for the next three years.

Sheng Peng



I guess I would have liked to have heard from them some examples of what other franchises in similar rebuild situations have done that worked out for them.


This is really great Sheng and Keegan. A lot of Sharks fans weren’t happy with what those two said a few weeks ago, and you guys got them on the show and gave them a fair shake. Top tier podcast move. I never would have guessed that Barclay Goodrow was the key to McGuire’s friendship, but I think you won him over with that example Sheng! I have a lot more respect for their position now that they’ve clarified it a bit. I don’t really agree that their concerns have been the most important ones until this point, but it… Read more »


I think they back pedaled quite a bit. They at least softened their stance. Their original show was the podcast equivalent of click bait.

I loved how Pierre tried to come out feisty and defensive and Peng basically Judo’d him into agreeing.


Very well said, this was an awesome episode in both concept and execution. Very informative, and it’s important to share local knowledge with the guys who have a national audience. Those of us who think Grier is doing a good job want him to get a fair shake, which is tough if the outside perception is negative.

Just Steve

I’ll try to listen, but man… McGuire, ugh. The only hockey windbag worse than that guy is Mike Milbury.


Thoughts on Dillon or DeMello as free agents? May be worth bringing one of them back to stabalize the back end.

Sheng Peng

Not a bad idea, especially DeMelo, he might in the second-tier of free agent who can really help stabilize things here. Just depends on what he wants, he’s at a crossroads as a 30-year-old


Couldn’t believe my eyes reading the title after hearing responses on several other Sharks podcasts to the comments made by those two regarding the rebuild.

Inviting them on the show?!? Savage move.

Hats off to you and Keegan for nipping this whole thing in the bud and getting more info on their stance, great episode 10/10.

Sheng Peng


Fin Coe

Looking forward to hearing wisdom and insight from the man who had such an amazing impact on turning the Senators’ fortunes around. Just look at them now.

Fin Coe

Man I’ve been contemptuous toward Pierre for a long time but kudos to Jimmy for earning a similar level of disdain so swiftly and decisively.

Sheng Peng

I really think that’s too easy a jab. You’re entitled to your opinion, and I get why people don’t like Pierre, but he’s also hockey knowledge personified, he’s like a walking hockey Wiki. Doesn’t mean he’s always right, doesn’t mean he’d lead the Sharks any better than Mike. But a shit run as an exec doesn’t mean he has zero valuable hockey insight. You just have to parse it out for yourself, you don’t have to agree with everything he says. For me, his point about team-building (also Jimmy’s) rings true. There is an art to it, and I do… Read more »


Incredible episode, great job getting them on to have the discussion.

Can’t imagine how you kept a straight face when they said that if the Sharks want to be better they need to improve their goal differential, as if that’s some kind of insider secret.



Its like saying you need to improve by getting better. Shhhh … don’t tell anyone


“If you score more points than the other team, you’re going to win the game”

– Pierre “John Madden” McGuire

Just Steve

I just saw that the Sharks signed Graf out of Quinniapac! I was watching the BC/Quin game the other day and he was definitely noticeable on that team (more-so than Smith was for BC). I hadn’t heard of him before. Sounds like potentially a pretty good signing.


Geez Pierre is annoying. His hindsight analysis is just grating. His take that management doesn’t matter is silly. Having a good player development manager leads to getting a good staff. Management can make a substantial difference. Glad Sheng dove into the player development aspect. Scouting didn’t come up much, but I suspect it matters at least as much. Sheng’s point, the Sharks need to execute on the picks, is essential. Really, it’ll be what defines Grier’s tenure. Pierre’s point about being better next year, or even the year after is silly. The idea premium picks only matter in the next… Read more »

Sheng Peng

Pierre’s point about being better next year, or even the year after is silly. Highly disagree. You can aim for the No. 1 pick, perfectly fine, but you can build culture and a hard to play against team. That matters for the young players coming up, to guide and insulate them. Getting Hoffman and others was necessary to conclude the EK65 deal.  Yes, to conclude the deal. But if you’re trying to build a hard to play against team, which is the stated goal of Grier’s, and achievable even in a rebuild, I wonder if they kept him too long,… Read more »


fwiw, I said the goal for this season was to ice ‘a not very good, but hard to play against’ team. I agreed on the goal. But I don’t agree that needed to happen this season. Grier’s house cleaning is a work in process and that was the priority. Other than Vlasic and Couture, the Sharks have no long term contracts. The housecleaing was the more urgent task. The ‘hard to play against’ can come next season. To be fair, injuries also made the task a bunch harder this year. Almost no Couture, 60% of Hertl and even a substantial… Read more »


Sheng and Keegan, you deserve a medal for dealing with these windbags who it appears did little homework in prep. Their comment on the “tax issue” is a real one and glad they brought it up. But, saying there is “no locker room presence” ignores the value Granlund, Storm, MacDonald and Ferraro provide, and Couture is injured.

The Masala Slapper

Honestly he could’ve started the interview by asking, “How many Sharks games have you seen this decade?” And that would have either ended the interview swiftly, or at least given a baseline of humility. You ask me these east-coast guys don’t watch the Sharks before opining on them.

Reality check

While I can appreciate the sentiment of the comments here – it seems that everyone is missing the main point McGiure was making. San Jose is unable to attract high-end free agents. Is that going to change? I think not with the cost-of-living, the small market nature of the franchise, and zero local media buzz. Why would a player come here with other NHL cities to choose from?. The weather is not enough. When the Sharks franchise first began, San Jose was in redevelopment, and there was an energy to the city. But now…..well at least original Joe’s is still… Read more »

Fin Coe

Why would anyone choose to live in Alberta? Why play in a small market like Carolina? This team is tanking, of course there’s not much attendance or media buzz; For most of the USA clubs, that’s the reality. As the roster gets stronger, from the draft AND the FAs that have already apparently overcome the obstacles listed, the crowds and the coverage will rise, particularly as there’ll be one fewer b*seball team here and the Warrior window closes, and players who want to win will come here. Will it take time? Of course. But it’s year two of a new… Read more »

Sheng Peng

The Sharks may need to spend a little bit more to make up for the tax difference, but I think when the Sharks are good again, this will be an attractive place to sign.

For some, the small market is attractive, for others, it isn’t, sure. But I’m not terribly worried about that.

This won’t be an Edmonton or wherever that has a tougher time attracting FAs even when they’re good.


I agree with you that “winning fixes everything”, but its going to take a lot longer for the sharks to start winning if they can’t attract premium FAs. I remember the optimistic timeline you guys put out earlier this year. I believe that was for being “ok” in 2 years and competitive in 3. I think that involved Hertl staying and 2 starting line up FAs signing here (and celebrini lol).


Minor correction on the post.

Listen to the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast — it’s a new link — on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Google Podcasts is officially dead, though you can access most of the content from there on Youtube Music.

Sheng Peng

Thanks! Meant to fix that.

The Masala Slapper

Sheng and Keegan thanks for the podcast, my only request is please let your guests talk. I felt Pierre and Jimmy were barely given the space to articulate their arguments in full. You articulated your own very well….but we hear those all the time!!

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