How Quinn plans on bringing 'winning culture' back to Sharks


New Sharks coach David Quinn wants to see SAP Center rocking again. 

The 10th coach in franchise history was announced officially on Tuesday, and Quinn made it clear during his introductory press conference that he believes San Jose can return to the NHL playoffs sooner rather than later.

Alongside general manager Mike Grier, a new addition himself, Quinn laid out the plans that he and the Sharks’ front office have for the future.

“We certainly know what’s in store for us and ahead of us,” Quinn told reporters. “But we want to bring back that winning culture that has been here for a long, long time. 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 to 20 years.

“Sometimes you go through a bit of a dip when you’ve been as successful as the Sharks have for such a long period of time … With the enthusiasm and the passion of our fan base, we certainly are going to put together a team that you’ll be proud of, one that you’ll want to watch.”

Prior to Quinn’s hiring, the Sharks made a bundle of offseason moves that were viewed favorably by NHL experts.

Now, it’s up to him to put the right players on the ice to ensure his promise comes true. 


So how does he plan on reigniting San Jose’s playoff hopes -- and its fan base?

“One of the things we want to be is a tenacious, fast team, a team that plays on top of people taking away time and space, a structured team that plays with freedom,” Quinn said. “When the trading deadline happened this year, [the Sharks] were only four points out of a playoff spot. So we feel that with some improvements along the way, we'd be in a great position moving forward here this coming season.”

Quinn most recently coached the New York Rangers from 2018-21, where he said the No. 1 thing he learned was how important it is to manage the team’s different personalities. He also learned how to stay true to his own personality during that time, he told reporters on Tuesday, as he balanced incorporating others’ opinions and ideas into his own coaching philosophy.

Though he hasn’t spoken to any of his new players in person yet, Quinn is already prepared to get the most out of his team and return to the postseason for the first time since 2019. 

He believes the solution they need is already in the building.

RELATED: How Quinn could have become Sharks' coach back in 2015

“As Mike and I talked about, I think a lot of the answers are in the locker room,” Quinn said. “And if we can get everybody to be just a little bit better -- we're not asking a guy to go from five goals to 40. We're not asking a guy to do things 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.”

It’s clear that Quinn believes the Sharks are on the cusp of providing that “winning culture” fans so desperately miss.

And as the team and its new coach prepare for their first training camp together come September, the future in San Jose looks bright.