NHL Rumors: Insider narrows down two final candidates for San Jose Sharks head coaching role

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Montreal Canadiens
San Jose Sharks close to naming new head coach

The San Jose Sharks are getting close to picking their new head coach, and it looks like they've narrowed it down to two top contenders. NHL insiders Dennis Bernstein and David Pagnotta have provided updates on the situation. Pagnotta indicated that Marco Sturm and Ryan Warsofsky are among the finalists for the role.

Sturm, currently head coach of the AHL's Ontario Reign, reportedly met with the San Jose brass over Memorial Day weekend. Sturm, who has a strong coaching background, is seen as a promising candidate to lead the Sharks.

In addition to Sturm, Warsofsky, an assistant coach with the Sharks, is also being considered for the head coaching job. Warsofsky has been part of the San Jose coaching staff and is familiar with the team's challenges.

David Pagnotta also mentioned that Brian Wiseman, who is another assistant coach with the Sharks, has garnered attention from several teams looking to strengthen their coaching staff. However, Wiseman's future remains uncertain as the Sharks focus on selecting their new head coach.

"Sounds like Sturm and current SJSharks Asst Coach Ryan Warsofsky are among the finalists for the gig. Also heard Sharks asst coach Brian Wiseman has been on the radars of several teams looking to beef up their staff," Pagnotta wrote on X.

Speculation surrounds Ryan Leonard's future amid Will Smith's San Jose Sharks move

Ryan Leonard, the standout player for Boston College, initially planned to return for his sophomore season. However, speculation arose about his decision after reports surfaced that his linemate, Will Smith, was expected to sign with the San Jose Sharks, forfeiting his collegiate eligibility.

Smith's expected move fueled rumors that Leonard might reconsider his plans, with suggestions he could join the Washington Capitals sooner than anticipated.

According to Sheng Peng from SJHN.com:

"It looks like Will Smith will be joining the San Jose Sharks next year. Multiple league sources have indicated to San Jose Hockey Now that Smith should sign with the Sharks this summer, forgoing his college eligibility."

The possibility gained traction following Leonard's strong performance for Team USA at the 2024 IIHF World Championship, where he competed alongside Smith. Leonard's outstanding freshman season at Boston College, which included setting the school record for most goals by a rookie, drew the attention of NHL organizations, including the Capitals, who expressed interest in signing him.

With the Capitals potentially facing departures of key wingers in the offseason, there's speculation they could make room for Leonard on their lineup.

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