David Quinn was hired as coach of the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
Quinn, who turns 56 on Saturday, replaced Bob Boughner, who was fired July 1.
“To me, the No. 1 responsibility I have as a coach here is managing our players,” Quinn said. “Putting them in the position to have the most success they possibly can. Make them the best players they can possibly be. Sometimes you’ve got to be hard on them and sometimes you need to lay off, and I think you’re always trying to find that balance as a coach.”
Quinn was fired as coach of the New York Rangers on May 12, 2021, after going 96-87-25 in three seasons, and was replaced by Gerard Gallant. The Rangers fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton one week earlier on May 5, replacing them with Chris Drury, who was promoted to president and GM.
Quinn, who did not coach in the NHL last season, guided the United States to a fifth-place finish at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
“We want to get back to that winning culture that’s been here for a really, really long time,” Quinn said. “And I know the last three years have been difficult, but I also think that’s been a byproduct of the success the Sharks have had over the last 15-20 years.”
The Sharks went 32-37-13 last season and finished 20 points behind the Nashville Predators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. It was the third straight season they failed to qualify for the postseason after reaching the playoffs 14 of the previous 15 seasons.
“One of the things we want to be a tenacious, fast team with freedom,” Quinn said. When the [NHL] Trade Deadline (on March 21) happened this year, [the Sharks] were only four points out of the playoffs. So we feel that, with some improvements along the way, we’ll be in a great position moving forward this coming season. … I’ve never heard a coach say he wants to play ‘slow.’ So we certainly want to play an up-tempo style, a tenacious style, an aggressive style, and [be] an ultracompetitive team.”
San Jose hired Mike Grier as the first Black general manager in NHL history July 5 and traded defenseman Brent Burns to the Carolina Hurricanes on July 13. The Sharks were the only NHL team without a coach.
“[Quinn’s] experience in developing young players as a head coach at Boston University and at the NHL level over the last few seasons has proven to be effective,” Grier said.
“I’m a competitive person, David’s a competitive person, and we’re going to go out and try to win every game and see where we land. It’s a tough conference, and there’s a lot of good teams out there. So we ‘re going to push and try to make the playoffs. If we don’t, we’re going to know we were competitive all season long. If we’re not quite there yet, we’re not quite there yet.”
Quinn was the 10th coach to be hired since the conclusion of the regular season, joining Lane Lambert (New York Islanders, May 16), Bruce Cassidy (Vegas Golden Knights, June 14), John Tortorella (Philadelphia Flyers, June 17), Peter DeBoer (Dallas Stars, June 21), Paul Maurice (Florida Panthers, June 22), Luke Richardson (Chicago Blackhawks, June 27), Derek Lalonde (Detroit Red Wings, June 30), Jim Montgomery (Boston Bruins, July 1) and Rick Bowness (Winnipeg Jets, July 3).
“I think a lot of the answers are in that locker room,” Quinn said. “We’re not asking guys to go from five goals to 40. We’re not asking guys to do a thing he’s not capable of doing. But what we want everybody to do is do the things they can do just a little bit better If you’ve got 23 people being five to 10 percent better, that’s the difference between making the playoffs and not.”
NHL.com independent correspondent Chelena Goldman contributed to this report