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San Jose Sharks

Does Studnicka Demotion Signal Couture Return Tomorrow?

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

The San Jose Sharks have sent Jack Studnicka down.

Studnicka was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks on Dec. 15 for Nick Cicek and a 2024 sixth-rounder. The Sharks had just lost center Nico Sturm to injury, so the 24-year-old Studnicka, a 2017 Boston Bruins’ second-round pick, seemed like a reasonable upside bet for a low cost.

It hasn’t really worked out yet for Studnicka though, who failed to record a point in nine games with the San Jose Sharks. This was despite getting a regular opportunity on the third line for a team lacking in center depth.

However, that’s not the headline. With Studnicka, the Sharks had a full 23-man roster. Without him? That opens up a roster spot.

So could San Jose’s depth up the middle be getting a shot in the arm as soon as tomorrow against the Toronto Maple Leafs?

For the first time yesterday, San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn gave star center Logan Couture, out all season with a lower-body injury, a timeline for his return.

When asked if he expected Couture to return some time during the upcoming five-game road trip, which starts on Tuesday in Toronto, Quinn answered in the affirmative.

BREAKING: Quinn Expects Couture To Play on Upcoming Sharks’ Road Trip

That, of course, didn’t rule out a return as early as Saturday, San Jose’s last home game before their road trip.

The San Jose Sharks have yet to officially add Couture to their 23-man roster.

They also have winger Givani Smith, center Sturm, and defensemen Jacob MacDonald and Matt Benning on IR, but only Smith has participated in full practice recently.

The Sharks welcome the Maple Leafs into SAP Center on Saturday at 4 PM.

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