The San Jose Sharks have removed the interim tag from Bob Boughner, naming him the ninth head coach in franchise history. He’ll be joined behind the bench next season by new assistants Rocky Thompson and John Madden. Sharks GM Doug Wilson released a statement explaining the new staff:
Bob did a tremendous job last season, getting our group back to playing with an identity and structure that we need in order to be successful. We saw a marked improvement in our play in several key areas during the second half of the season, before losing some key players to injury.
We’re also very pleased to add Rocky and John to our staff. Both come with a wealth of experience, both in playing the game and as teachers and leaders. With a healthy and motivated group of players, we are confident that this staff will do a terrific job leading our group in the coming years.
Mike Ricci, who served as an assistant down the stretch with the Sharks, will move to a development coach role. Evgeni Nabokov, Dan Darrow and Charlie Townsend will return in their previous roles. Roy Sommer will return to his role as head coach of the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda after helping with the NHL team this season.
Boughner took over midseason from Peter DeBoer and went 14-20-3 with the team, actually a worse winning percentage than his predecessor. Despite that, he’ll be back to try and turn things around in San Jose after a devastating season. The Sharks finished 27th in goals for and 25th in goals against, leading to a lottery position after they’d already sold their ticket. The Ottawa Senators will get to use the Sharks third-overall pick this year, making the season sting just a little bit more.