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Zadina Four-Point Game Doesn’t Alter His Sharks Reality



Filip zadina, sharks

Movies and literature make us believe that second chances or fresh starts enjoy high success rates. But in the real world, problems and issues don’t always go away. That’s been the case for Filip Zadina with the San Jose Sharks.

He asked the Red Wings for a trade, and GM Steve Yzerman found no takers at the end of last season. Zadina then asked Yzerman to terminate his contract even though it meant he would give up $4.53 million.

In Detroit, he was the star of a tired storyline about a high draft pick not living up to fans’ expectations. He was drafted sixth overall, one spot ahead of University of Michigan defenseman Quinn Hughes. Detroit fans will never forgive the Red Wings for that decision, and were never going to let Zadina forget it either, especially when he was developing into a bottom six forward, instead of a premium goal scorer.

It didn’t help that Hughes developed into a star. He may register 100 points and win the Norris Trophy this season.

Zadina signed with the Sharks, hoping that being with a rebuilding team would afford him more opportunity than he was receiving in Detroit.

Similar Status With Sharks

But five months into his Sharks career, he is essentially the same role player he was in Detroit. He is averaging 12:44 minutes per night, which is down from the 13:06 he earned last season in Detroit. Zadina has played under 10 minutes in five of his last eight games.

Even when he registered a career-best four points (two goals, two assists) at Calgary Thursday, he still only played 12:05.

He’s only earning $1.1 million this season on a one-year deal and it remains to be seen whether he will recoup the wages he gave up in Detroit. He was making $1.8 million per year on a multi-year deal.

But he is probably in a better situation from a mental health perspective. He left thect draft status baggage in Detroit.

In San Jose, his status as a role player isn’t the same as earning a failing grade as a draft prospect

With seven goals and 17 points in 48 games, Zadina is on pace for a career-best 27 points. The most points he had for the Red Wings in a season was 24 (10 goals, 14 assists) in 2020-21.

Sharks coach David Quinn does seem to like what he contributes. He sees growth in Zadina’s game. The Sharks just see Zadina as a player. San Jose fans don’t care about his draft status.

“The one thing about Z, he works his ass off night in, night out,” Quinn told San Jose Hockey Now. “You’re always gonna get an honest effort from him. He puts an awful lot of pressure on himself. He cares so much and he wants to do so well, and sometimes, that gets in his way. I think he’s played a little bit more relaxed lately. Nice to see him get rewarded statistically (with a four-point game). There’s definitely been some growth in his game here over the last month.”

Goal Droughts

Zadina did play more minutes earlier in the season. But he went one stretch when he went 14 games without a goal. He had one goal in 19 games before he scored two goals against Calgary.

“I was just playing the way I was playing before,” Zadina told SJHN. “Obviously, it’s hard mentally because you’re not playing that much, you’re not really on the ice. And when you’re on the ice, you’re trying to be your best to help the team. I believe we’ve done a pretty good job of it today.

Zadina feels like has seen improvement in his game.

“Recently, I’ve done a better job in the D-zone,” Zadina said. “We’re not giving up that many goals (compared to at) the beginning of the season. Obviously, the crazy (minus) number I had.”