According to TSN's Darren Dreger on tonight's Insider Trading segment, former Washington Capitals head coach, and most recently a member of the New Jersey Devils coaching staff, Adam Oates may be reuniting with Pete DeBoer in San Jose as one of DeBoer's assistants:
Darren Dreger on Insider Trading: Adam Oates will not return to New Jersey and has informed Ray Shero. He may join Pete DeBoer in San Jose.— Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell) June 9, 2015
Oates was reportedly one of the candidates interviewed by Doug Wilson for the Sharks' head coaching vacancy, which was rather concerning at the time seeing as his stint behind the Capitals bench strongly suggested Oates isn't a good NHL head coach. But if there's one thing Oates has always been decidedly great at, not only during his Hall Of Fame-worthy career on the ice but as an assistant coach with Tampa Bay and New Jersey and as a head coach with the Caps, it's running a power play.
While he certainly had the good fortune of being able to deploy elite shooters like Steven Stamkos, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Ovechkin, Oates' innovative 1-3-1 setup with the man-advantage helped significantly improve the Lightning and Devils power plays before elevating Washington's to outright lethal status. We've discussed rumors surrounding another former Devils assistant in Dave Barr joining DeBoer's San Jose staff before and Oates is to running a power play essentially what Barr is to the PK: arguably the best there is in the NHL. As long as he has no say whatsoever in any part of the Sharks' gameplan outside of the man-advantage, Oates could be a sneaky good hire.