The lone survivor of Wednesday night’s culling of the San Jose Sharks’ bench bosses, Bob Boughner will be taking over head coaching duties ahead of tomorrow night’s match up against the New York Rangers.
Boughner first joined the Sharks’ coaching staff in 2015. In 2017, he accepted the head coach position for the Florida Panthers, but was released in the spring of 2019 and chose to return to the Sharks as an assistant coach, thanks in part to Logan Couture:
Okay.— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) May 29, 2019
Prior to his NHL career, Boughner saw much success behind the bench of the Windsor Spitfires, whom he coached to consecutive Memorial Cup and OHL Championships in 2008-09 and 2009-10. In the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, he received consecutive CHL and OHL Coach of the Year awards, becoming the first head coach in CHL history to win both a Memorial Cup and the CHL Coach of the Year award twice.
Joining Boughner’s staff will be current San Jose Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer as an associate coach, Mike Ricci as an assistant coach and perhaps most notably Evgeni Nabokov as a goaltending coach.
With the promotion, Sommer’s streak as the longest-tenured AHL coach will officially come to an end. He has spent 22 seasons coaching the Sharks’ AHL affiliate over four different cities. He leads the American Hockey League in games coached and wins, with a career record of 772-664-48-153.
All four promotions are from within the Sharks’ organization, as both Nabokov and Ricci have been serving as development coaches, with Nabokov taking on scouting duties, as well. The emphasis on bringing in coaches with extensive history in player development may see the Sharks strip their game back to basics in the coming weeks. Sommer is expected to coach the defense for the first time in his coaching career and with Nabokov on goaltending, that presumably leaves Ricci to handle special teams.
Sommer’s absence at the AHL-level with be filled by Jimmy Bonneau and Michael Chiasson, who will split head coaching duties for the Barracuda.
Finally, the Sharks released this statement regarding the coaching changes:
“When you have had a level of past success, change is never easy, but we feel this team is capable of much more than we have shown thus far and that a new voice is needed,” said [Doug] Wilson. “As a team and as individuals, our play has not met expectations this year and our level of consistency has not been where it needs to be. This group of individuals who will lead our team moving forward are very familiar with our players, and we think this change can provide our group with a fresh start.
”Under the leadership of Pete, along with Steve, Dave and Johan, our franchise accomplished some great things, culminating in reaching the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. We want to thank them for their contributions to our organization’s success over the last four years.”