Dean Evason, David Carle could be candidates for coaches

Craig Berube speaks during a news conference after being named interim head coach of the St. Louis Blues NHL hockey team Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, in St. Louis. The Blues fired coach Mike Yeo following a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The San Jose Sharks have begun a coaching search for the second time in three years after the organization fired David Quinn after just two seasons.

While Quinn was considered the favorite to get the job in July 2022, shortly after Mike Grier was named the team's general manager, there does not appear to be a similarly clear choice this time around.

Instead, it looks like Greer will be casting a wide net when it comes to finding the Sharks' next coach.

“We are building a list of candidates that we would like to talk to,” Greer said Wednesday, about an hour after Quinn's firing was announced. “I don't have a really hard schedule. This is a tough day and a tough week. … We'll start taking it as the week goes on, but I don't have any specific timeline and when it's going to get done.

NHL experience or professional training is good, Greer said. But he also didn't want to rule out any other candidate who could come along and impress him or his owner Hasso Plattner.

“I wouldn't rule anything or anyone out if a candidate emerges who surprises us,” Greer said. “At the same time, someone who has some sort of time or experience in the NHL, or professional hockey, would be helpful.

“But I don't want to exclude anyone if there's someone we meet that we'd like to talk to.”

The successful candidate will need to possess certain traits that Grier and the Sharks hold dear at this stage of the team's rebuild. This may include implementing a tighter defensive system or creating a less comfortable atmosphere around the team.

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“By meeting with the players and reviewing the season, I think I have an idea of ​​what they are looking for, what they need and what I think they need,” Greer said. “But I think I'll keep this internal for now.”

Here are seven names, in alphabetical order, to become the Sharks' next head coach.

Craig Berube: Berube, 58, is expected to gain some attention this season as a Stanley Cup-winning coach. He helped turn around St. Louis' season in 2018-19 before the Blues went on to win the franchise's first championship.

Berube has a demanding style, and if Grier views him as a candidate for the Sharks job, he will have to decide if the former enforcer is the right man for this phase of the team's rebuild. But there's no doubt that Berube gets results, as his teams held a points-plus percentage of .500 in six of his seven seasons as a coach with the Blues and Philadelphia Flyers.

Berube and Grier seem to share an interest in big boy hockey. In his NHL career, Berube has 3,149 penalty minutes in 1,054 games.

David Carle: If NHL coaching experience isn't a prerequisite for the Sharks job, Karl, 34, might be considered. He ran a successful program at the University of Denver for six years, and the Pioneers had just won the NCAA Division I national championship.

Greer could be open about hiring a college coach, given his background. Karl is one of the bright young minds in the game and could develop into a Sharks coaching role alongside a rebuilding squad. But hiring anyone with no professional experience is a risky proposition, and if he fails and the Sharks need to look for another coach in a couple of years, Greer himself could be on thin ice.

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Dean Evason: The Shark native, Evason, 59, was fired as coach of the Minnesota Wild earlier this season after the team started 5-10-4. Before that, though, Evason had a 142-67-23 record in Minnesota, leading the Wild to three straight playoff appearances, though the team failed to advance beyond the first round.

Evason also has experience dealing with younger players from his experience as head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals from 2012 to 2018. He also has history with a few Sharks players, including Mikael Granlund, Luke Kunnen, Nico Storm and Kalen Addison.

If the Sharks are looking for a departure from Quinn's more easygoing style, they'll find it in the intense Evason, who has 1,002 penalty minutes in 803 NHL games. From 1991 to 1993 with the Sharks, Evason tallied 57 points and 231 penalty minutes.

Gerard Gallant: If we go the communications route, Gallant, 60, might be a name to watch in San Jose. He became the Rangers' head coach in 2021-22, shortly after the team hired Greer as a hockey operations consultant. They spent just one season together in New York before Grier was named the Sharks GM.

Gallant had winning records as a head coach with the Rangers, Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers. But is he a good fit for the Sharks, given that the team is still at least two years away, and perhaps more, from being a playoff contender?

Mitch Love: Love, 39, was among the candidates for the Calgary Flames' head coaching job last season before eventually joining the Washington Capitals as an assistant on Spencer Carbery's staff. The only knock was his lack of NHL coaching experience. He has it now.

Love was a successful coach in the WHL for three seasons from 2018-2021 before being named coach of the Flames' AHL affiliate. In two years, his teams went a combined 96-33-11, and he was named AHL Coach of the Year in both seasons.

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Love would be a bold choice for Grier, but perhaps the right one at this stage of the Sharks' rebuild.

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