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SPECULATION: Friedman Names 4 Possible Sharks Head Coach Candidates



Credit: Ontario Reign/Mike Zitek

Elliotte Friedman threw out a few head coach candidates that the San Jose Sharks might be interested in.

“San Jose does like the tie-ins to the people who have been there,” Friedman said on the 32 Thoughts Podcast on Monday. “Strong identification with the market is very important to them.”

Three candidates with San Jose Sharks connections who stood out to Friedman?

Marco Sturm, who played with the Sharks from 1997 to 2005, is now the head coach of the Ontario Reign. Before that, Sturm helmed Team Germany’s surprise silver medal-winning side in the 2018 Olympics.

Jay Woodcroft was an assistant coach on San Jose Sharks bench boss Todd McLellan’s staff from 2008 to 2015. Most recently, he was head coach of the 2023 Edmonton Oilers, leading them to the Western Conference Finals, before getting let go earlier this season.

Jay Leach, who played with the Sharks during the 2009-10 season, is now a Seattle Kraken assistant coach. Friedman noted that GM Mike Grier interviewed Leach for San Jose’s top job in 2022, before hiring David Quinn. It’s also possible that the Kraken might tap Leach to replace recently-fired Dave Hakstol.

Another name that Friedman mentioned, not San Jose Sharks-adjacent?

“Jeff Halpern is close. He’s approaching his point where he’s going to be an NHL head coach,” Friedman said.

Halpern is a Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach, winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Bolts in 2020 and 2021.

And perhaps stronger than a San Jose Sharks connection, Halpern has a strong Grier connection.

Grier and Halpern played together with the Washington Capitals from 2002 to 2004.

Thoughts on 10 Possible Sharks’ Head Coach Candidates

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