If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?
But that’s exactly what the San Jose Sharks have done by hiring Ryan Warsofsky as their assistant coach.
San Jose Hockey just released the news of Warsofsky’s hiring on Thursday, with a source indicating that the Chicago Wolves head coach will handle the Sharks’ defense and penalty kill.
Source: Sharks are hiring Warsofsky as assistant coach.
Of course, the Sharks PK, led by assistant coach John Madden, ranked second in the NHL last year with an 85.2 PK%. But Madden, along with head coach Bob Boughner, assistant coach John MacLean and video coach Dan Darrow, were released on July 1.
Madden was just tapped by the Arizona Coyotes to become an assistant coach. Naturally, it runs their PK.
SJHN Daily: Madden, MacLean find new homes
While we’ll have to see when training camp starts in September – you can imagine that Warsofsky won’t be short of one of the best kills in the NHL.
Madden worked for the Sharks defense last year. I wonder what kind of impact Warsofsky, himself a former defenseman who played professionally in the Belgian, Central Hockey League and Federal Hockey League, will have on the San Jose Sharks’ guards.
Madden is a highly decorated forward — he won the 2001 Selke Cup — but most position coaches are already at that position.
In particular, will proud veterans Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Erik Karlsson take to the relatively young Warsofsky? Vlasic, 35, is a year older than Warsofsky, while Erik Karlsson, 32, is not far behind.
Between Vlasic and Karlsson, there is an Olympic goal medal, multiple Olympic/World Cup appearances and two Norris Trophies.
Wolves GM Wendell Young, however, is confident that the former head coach can deal with the San Jose Sharks’ big-money blueliner.
“He is a caring coach. It’s going to be about what they have on the ice first and foremost, and then trust builds over time,” Young told San Jose Hockey Now. “He gets everybody to buy into him because he always has his back. Players feel safe. He understands the strengths of the players. Not just points-wise, but look at how many players have had career years for us.
That’s a strong vote of confidence from your general manager, and I suspect Sharks GM Mike Grier and head coach David Quinn will see things through or they wouldn’t have brought in Warsofsky.
Anyway, that remains to be seen this season, how Warsofsky will do with the San Jose Sharks young blueliners like Mario Ferraro, Nikolai Knizhov, Ryan Merkley and others.
“If 23 guys are five or ten percent better at their game, that’s the difference between the games,” Quinn said at the introductory press conference.
Can Warsofsky make such a difference to the San Jose Sharks blue line?
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