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How Will Warsofsky Connect With Karlsson, Vlasic?



Credit: Chicago Wolves

If ain’t broke, don’t fix it?

But that’s what the San Jose Sharks have done with the expected hire of Ryan Warsofsky as an assistant coach.

San Jose Hockey Now broke the news of Warsofsky’s hiring on Thursday, a source also indicating that the Chicago Wolves head coach would handle the Sharks’ defense and penalty kill.

SOURCE: Sharks Hiring Warsofsky as Assistant Coach

Of course, the Sharks PK, led by assistant coach John Madden, was second in the NHL last year with an 85.2 PK%. But Madden was let go on Jul. 1, along with head coach Bob Boughner, assistant coach John MacLean, and video coach Dan Darrow.

Madden was just tapped by the Arizona Coyotes to be an assistant coach. Naturally, he’ll run their PK.

SJHN Daily: Madden, MacLean Find New Homes

You would presume – though we’ll have to see when training camp kicks off in September – that Warsofsky wouldn’t tinker much with one of the best kills in the NHL.

Madden also handled the Sharks’ defense last year. There’s where I wonder what kind of impact that Warsofsky, a former defenseman himself who played professionally in Belgium, the Central Hockey League, and Federal Hockey League, could have on the San Jose Sharks’ rearguards.

Madden was a forward, a highly-decorated one – he won the 2001 Selke Trophy – but usually, position coaches are formerly of that position.

In particular, I wonder if proud veterans Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Erik Karlsson will take to the relatively young Warsofsky? Vlasic, 35, is a year older than Warsofsky, while the 32-year-old Erik Karlsson isn’t too far behind.

Between Vlasic and Karlsson too, there’s an Olympic goal medal, multiple Olympic/World Cup appearances, and two Norris Trophies.

Wolves GM Wendell Young, however, has the utmost faith that his ex-head coach will be able to connect with the San Jose Sharks’ big-money blueliners.

“He is a caring coach. First and foremost, it will be about what they are off ice, then trust will be built over time,” Young told San Jose Hockey Now. “He gets all to buy in as he has their back at all times. Players will feel secure. He recognizes players’ strengths. Look how many players had career years for us and not just points-wise.”

That’s a strong vote of confidence from your general manager, and that’s how I presume Sharks GM Mike Grier and head coach David Quinn see things, or they wouldn’t have brought in Warsofsky.

Anyway, that’s something to watch this season, along with how Warsofsky works with the San Jose Sharks’ younger blueliners like Mario Ferraro, Nikolai Knyzhov, Ryan Merkley, and more.

Quinn said in his introductory press conference, “If you’ve got 23 people being five or ten percent better in their game, that’s the difference between making the playoffs or not.”

Can Warsofsky help make that kind of difference for the San Jose Sharks’ blueline?

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Highly praised is a good thing to grow from. He led a team to a championship for a reason. I did not know how defensively his team was but I do trust these hockey people on Warsofsky and his ability.

Go Sharks!!

Bob D

Please don’t place Vlasic in the same class as Karlsson. He was never the world class defenseman he was made out to be, team Canada bmfd. His contract was the seed crystal of the demise of DW and this team. I’m certain if MG was granted one wish it would be to dump this guy first. If he had any integrity or cared about the team at all he would retire, as he has bled this org long enough with horrible play, but he could care less. Now Karlsson? If he can just play hard and end up on LTIR… Read more »


Agreed. DW gets too much praise. But his last 3 years were horrid and spill over to the next few years. 🙁 Never won anything. Even Ducks and Kings won a cup.


Your wrong about Vlasic in my honest opinion and many professionals regarding Vlasic. I don’t know what happened to him last season but I’m sure we will see a revitalized Vlasic.

Bob D

You mean the last five seasons?


Vlasic has been terrible* for awhile, but he was absolutely a world class defenseman in his prime. During the cup final run, there were articles coming up about “why is this person not scoring” for every team the Sharks played against, and the answer was they were being shut down by the Vlasic Braun pair. Those articles popped up for Kopitar and Carter, Filip Forsberg, Tarasenko, Crosby, and Malkin.

*By terrible I mean by NHL standards… He’s probably still top 1000 or so ice hockey defensemen in the world.


In no way am I comparing Vlasic with Karlsson, it’s a failing comparison, they’re 2 different kind of defenseman. Pickles earned the years of praise for his defensive play.
One playoff year, we actually lost all hope when he went out with injury. If he had played in Montreal, he’d have been talked about daily. In a positive way.
There’s no dispute that he’s lost some. It happens. I’ll hold out hope that he can find it again. Not to the level he was at but something much closer.


I agree about Vlasic. Karlsson is the one that will be trouble. He stated in his exit interview that he’s played every system. So he apparently knows it all. Good luck coach

Bob D

Another thing about Vlasic, and why I truly can’t stand him as a player or individual, is that he is a straight up liar, which came to represent much of the culture of this organization in recent years (see Simek story). When Vlasic looked into the eyes of the cameras and the media and said he is not aware that he has a no trade clause made me realize what an absolute piece of garbage this guy really is. It tells you everything you need to know about his character, and I wouldn’t want them around anybody on my team.… Read more »


🤔 he said he wasn’t going anywhere in his exit interview so that was the truth.

Karlsson is the one who doesn’t tell the truth he said he’s the best but we can’t verify that due to his limited play

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