Tag: San Jose Sharks

Philadelphia Flyers v Pittsburgh Penguins

Looking to make the leap: Derrick Pouliot


Is this the year Derrick Pouliot transitions from promising prospect to full-time pro?

He seems to think so.

“I think I’m capable of being a reliable defender in this league. I think I can produce even more offensively, too,” Pouliot said earlier this summer, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It’s really about taking a two-way role, not giving up anything and creating some chances for us.

“I’ll come into camp in shape and be able to handle some more minutes.”

Last season, Pouliot looked primed to make the leap. He made his NHL debut in December and eventually replaced an injured Olli Maatta on Pittsburgh’s blueline, impressing onlookers through 34 games until an injury of his own prematurely ended the campaign.

While it was a good showing from a kid that only turned 21 in January — Pouliot racked up seven points while averaging 17:33 TOI — the former WHL Portland standout only provided a glimpse of what he could do.

Now, the Pens want a much bigger look.

They also need it.

Pittsburgh’s defense took a hit this offseason and, as a result, Pouliot’s role is bound to increase. Blueline minutes are there for the taking: Paul Martin, who averaged nearly 23 per game last season, is now in San Jose while Christian Ehrhoff, who averaged nearly 22, is in L.A.

Rob Scuderi turns 37 in December and seems primed for a (further) diminished role, and it remains to be seen if the Ben Lovejoy-for-Simon Despres trade will ever work out in the Pens’ favor.

So, enter Pouliot.

The eighth overall pick in 2012, he’s expected to shoulder a significant load this year, despite it being (essentially) his first full NHL campaign. And this isn’t any ordinary team he’s looking to leap into; Pittsburgh made major splashes throughout the summer, none bigger than the Phil Kessel acquisition, and is a legit Eastern Conference contender.

In short, the pressure’s on for Pouliot.

“I definitely know the expectations, that’s for sure,” he told NHL.com. “I know I have to be ready when the season comes around, what I have to do to be ready. It’s a little different in that aspect, that’s for sure.

“I’m pretty anxious. I feel like I can take on a bit of a bigger role.”

Reunited: Spott joins DeBoer’s staff in San Jose

Peter Horancheck

Seven years after they last coached together in the Ontario Hockey League, Steve Spott and Peter DeBoer will reunite behind the San Jose Sharks bench this season.

The Sharks announced on Monday that Spott will join DeBoer’s staff as an assistant coach.

“I’m excited to work with Steve again,” said DeBoer in a statement. “We have a great relationship and he has grown significantly as a coach in the seven years since we last worked together. We are very fortunate he was available.”

Spott spent last season as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs after guiding the AHL’s Toronto Marlies to the Western Conference final during the 2013-14 season.

Prior to joining the Leafs’ organization, Spott coached in the OHL with both the Kitchener Rangers and the Plymouth Whalers.

The 47-year-old joined Plymouth in 1997 and spent four seasons on DeBoer’s staff as an assistant coach, before they both moved to Kitchener in 2001. Spott spent his first seven seasons in Kitchener as an assistant coach under DeBoer, helping the Rangers win a Memorial Cup in 2003.

Related: Heading back to San Jose: Sharks sign McLaren

Heading back to San Jose: Sharks sign McLaren

Nashville Predators v Toronto Maple Leafs

The San Jose Sharks are bringing back a familiar face to replace John Scott.

After allowing the 6-foot-8, 259-pound enforcer to sign elsewhere this summer (Scott signed in Arizona), the Sharks announced on Monday they’ve come to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with Frazer McLaren.

McLaren, originally a seventh-round pick of the Sharks (203rd overall) in 2007, spent parts of four seasons in San Jose prior to being claimed off waivers by the Leafs in January 2013.

The 27-year-old has appeared in 102 career NHL games with the Sharks and Leafs scoring four goals and seven assists while racking up 34 fighting majors and 264 penalty minutes.

McLaren spent last season with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies registering one assist and 62 penalty minutes in 22 games.