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SAN JOSE –- The Sharks have a pretty big hole to fill in their forward group, now that Raffi Torres is confirmed to be out for months.
One of the more compelling storylines in training camp is who will step to take advantage of the unexpected opportunity, much like Matt Nieto did last season when Torres originally tore his right ACL in a preseason game.
Tye McGinn -- the brother of former Sharks winger Jamie McGinn -- is one of those players.
He was acquired from Philadelphia for a 2015 third round pick this summer shortly after the club learned it would be without Torres again. He may even be considered the frontrunner for the gig, as the 24-year-old already has a seat in the Sharks’ main dressing room right next to Jamie’s good friend, Logan Couture.
McGinn scored the game-winning goal in the first intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday, helping his team to a 2-1 win while playing on a line with Tommy Wingels and Freddie Hamilton, so he’s off to a good start.
Can McGinn legitimately play the role that Torres would have been counted on to provide?
“I hope he can,” Todd McLellan said. “He knows he’s in a dogfight with a number of other wingers in that situation. We know that he’s been able to come up and produce at the NHL level, obviously in Philadelphia. We know about his family with Jamie being here. Yet, he’s a different individual.”
McGinn said: “It’s never good losing a good player like [Torres], but I guess you can put it like there is an opportunity for other players. It’s a role that I would like to play. He’s definitely a hard worker and gets to the dirty areas, and I like to see myself as that. If I could help the team like that, I’d gladly accept that role.”
McGinn had moderate success with the Flyers, accumulating seven goals and 10 points in 36 games over two seasons. The six-foot-two, 205-pounder was third on AHL Adirondack in scoring with 35 points (20g, 15a) in 54 games last season, too.
McGinn’s biggest problem in Philadelphia was maintaining his effectiveness on a nightly basis. According to CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio, McGinn fell out of favor with the coaching staff after an orbital bone injury adversely affected his physical style.
A new start with the Sharks could be what he needs to get his career pointed in the right direction again.
“Any time you get to a new team I guess you could say it’s a fresh start. I’m just trying to come in and do the best I can and make the best of the opportunity,” McGinn said.
It helps to have some familiarity, thanks to conversations with his brother and that he played with Couture in junior for a year in Ottawa in 2007-08.
“[Jamie] loved it here. He loved playing here. He had nothing but good things to say,” McGinn said. “He said I’d have a great time if I got the chance to play here.”
McLellan said: “He has a great opportunity to grasp a job and go with it.”