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  • San Jose Sharks on The Hockey News

    Sheldon Keefe Would Fit Well As Next Sharks Head Coach

    By Max Miller,

    2024-05-09

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=29Vvc7_0svl5C0Z00

    The Toronto Maple Leafs fired Sheldon Keefe as head coach today, and the San Jose Sharks would fit well as his next destination.

    Keefe's playoff success, or lack thereof, is arguably the biggest drawback of wanting him as a head coach. But his regular season output cannot be questioned. In five seasons as the head coach of the Leafs, Keefe's regular season record is 212-97-40.

    While regular season success is great, the Sharks want to win a Stanley Cup like every other NHL team. But in order to do that, the Sharks must first become competitive and grow their young team into a Stanley Cup Playoffs contender.

    Keefe has shown an ability to connect with younger players with high talent ceilings and take them to the next level. Auston Matthews scored 69 goals this season, a career-high, while still having a solid and responsible defensive side. His defense was so strong this season that he was nominated for the Selke Trophy for the forward who best displays the defensive side of the game.

    This season was filled with immense pressure in the Toronto market. Toronto is arguably the biggest hockey market in North America, so compared to San Jose, there would be significantly less pressure to produce results immediately. Keefe could even be seen as the coach to get the Sharks to be competitive but not the guy to take them far in the playoffs. The Sharks need a bench boss to bring their compete level up and develop solid talent with the high prospect pool and upcoming drafts.

    Keefe had to do more coaching than ever before this season. He developed systems and created a defensive structure that allowed the Maple Leafs to support their struggling goaltenders. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet echoed the same comments today on the Jeff Marek show.

    The Sharks are about to add a 200-foot top-tier centerman in Macklin Celebrini. While that isn't official yet, GM Mike Grier's comments suggested that he will draft Celebrini first overall and hope to get him right into the NHL. Keefe can focus on creating good habits and buy-in for a team that desperately needs it.

    The NHL has had a lot of turnovers at the head coaching position since the end of the 22-23 season, 19 to be exact. 18 of those changes were by way of firing, and one was via retirement.

    The New Jersey Devils are reportedly interested in Keefe becoming their next head coach, while the Sharks haven't shown their cards as to who they are interested in.

    Keefe is a terrific coach who deserves another chance in the NHL. The Maple Leafs market is filled to the roof, and then some with pressure; getting Keefe to develop talent, which he has experience doing during his time as the head coach of the AHL's Toronto Marlies, would be close to a perfect fit for the San Jose Sharks needs at this current moment.

    Make sure you bookmark THN's San Jose Sharks site for the latest news, exclusive interviews, breakdowns, and so much more.

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    The Hockey News

    The Hockey News

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