Mario Ferraro

Ferraro doesn't want Sharks to trade him, cites ‘unfinished business'

NBC Universal, Inc.

Editor's Note: Sheng Peng will be a regular contributor to NBC Sports California’s Sharks coverage. You can read more of his coverage on San Jose Hockey Now, listen to him on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, and follow him on Twitter at @Sheng_Peng

DETROIT -- Mario Ferraro wants to stay in San Jose. He might not have a choice in the matter, however.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Wednesday that the rebuilding Sharks are receiving trade offers for Ferraro, and the insider believes general manager Mike Grier could land quality assets for the minute-munching defenseman.

"I feel like I have unfinished business here," Ferraro told San Jose Hockey Now on Thursday. 

Ferraro added that he hasn't discussed a potential trade with Grier. He's heard the rumors, though, via social media and messages from family and friends.

"This organization has done so much for me, right?" he said. "I feel like I still owe them and the fans."

The Sharks selected Ferraro in the second round of the 2017 NHL Draft, after his breakout campaign with the USHL's Des Moines Buccaneers. Ferraro then went straight from two strong seasons with UMass Amherst, including a national championship appearance, to the NHL in 2019-20.

Unfortunately, Ferraro’s meteoric rise coincided with the Sharks' fall. From 2004 to 2019, San Jose missed the playoffs just once, making five Western Conference finals and one Stanley Cup Final. Ferraro, however, hasn't seen a postseason with the Sharks, four years and running. And this season isn't looking any better on that front, despite the recent winning streak.

Ferraro has seen all the bad, and he wants to see some of the good: "I want to work toward building a Stanley Cup team here."

Ferraro is just 25 -- certainly young enough to be part of the next Sharks playoff team. So why deal someone whom you can rebuild around?

"Yeah, it's weird," Ferraro said. He's just one year older than, for example, Fabian Zetterlund, whom San Jose isn’t likely to trade anytime soon. He's not 33-year-old Erik Karlsson, who asked the Sharks to trade him so he could chase a Stanley Cup and was dealt to the Penguins in August. 

On the other hand, though, it's not that weird. Ferraro is an attractive acquisition: He’s young, his contract (two years left at $3.25 million AAV) isn’t a backbreaker, and he's considered the kind of player with whom you can win. So much so that Friedman reported that the Stanley Cup-contending Carolina Hurricanes "took a run at him and really tried to get him" last season.

Brent Burns, Ferraro's defensive partner in his first two seasons and a good friend, is a 'Cane. Coincidence?

"I don't know if he misses me that much," Ferraro said with a laugh.

Regardless, Ferraro is flattered that he's thought of so highly league-wide.

"It's a good feeling to be wanted, of course," he said. "I'm kind of new to it. I haven't really been in this situation."

Ferraro remains focused on the Sharks, though.

"I owe it to these guys in this locker room," he said. "These things are out of my control. I live in the now. And right now, continuing to improve, we have been improving as a team here, and that makes me excited."

That's not just lip service. The Sharks are 8-7-1 since their disastrous start, and Ferraro is playing some good hockey. Actually, more than good hockey, according to coach David Quinn.

"He's playing the best hockey since we've been here," said Quinn, who was hired before the 2022-23 season. "Just like his calmness, his confidence, his decision-making, when to get involved offensively, when not. He's got poise with a puck. Just everything."

"Calm," of course, usually isn't a word associated with Energizer Bunny Ferraro. But it's something the often-frenetic blueliner appears to be incorporating into his game.

"Coming into the league, I was go, go, go, go, my mindset. I mean, that's really what got me here," Ferraro said. "There's negatives to that. I think that affected me a little bit. Especially with us dealing with some tough seasons and a tough start this year, it's a real test to see how poised and calm that I can be."

He added: "Just focusing on the things that I need to do. I'm not trying to do too much and trying to overcomplicate things for myself.

"I think that's starting to settle in with me. Something that I'm really working on and trying to figure out, just to dial back a little bit could actually be a benefit for me.

"Some guys, it's the opposite. Some guys need a little [dial up]. Everybody's a little bit different."

Is Ferraro figuring it out? If so, it'd be a shame if it’s not in San Jose.

Download and follow the San Jose Hockey Now podcast

Contact Us