When Pete DeBoer signed on as head coach of the Sharks back in 2015, fresh off the team missing the playoffs for the first time in over a decade, few would have predicted the success that was about to follow. DeBoer guided the team to its first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history, aided by the promoting of an extremely aggressive forechecking system and a renewed focus on driving even-strength play.
The success continued over the course of the next four years, with the Sharks going 317-180-106 and making the playoffs in each season over the course of his tenure. Importantly, DeBoer also oversaw the emergence of young players like Joonas Donskoi, Kevin Labanc, and Timo Meier, which helped the franchise create a stable core for years to come. While his lineup decisions (most notably his affinity for Micheal Haley) and defensive pairings may leave some doubt in the eyes of fans, DeBoer is still regarded by many media and hockey minds as one of the sharpest coaches around.
Now, it appears as though San Jose may be getting a few more years of him. While reports conflict as to the nature of the deal and whether it has been closed or is imminent, sources around the NHL appear to agree that the 50-year-old head coach will be extending his stay in San Jose.
Late on Saturday night, Nick Kypreos reported on Hockey Night in Canada that the Sharks’ coach was on the verge of signing a multi-year extension with the club. Immediately after that, Kevin Kurz of The Athletic cited his December article, in which he claimed that DeBoer was extended for either two or three more seasons.
For one thing, The Athletic recently learned from multiple sources that DeBoer signed a contract extension in the offseason believed to be for either two or three more seasons. The Sharks don’t make such information public, but the coach was reportedly entering the final year of an original four-year deal that he signed when he joined the Sharks in the 2015 offseason.
In the life of a coach, contract duration doesn’t really mean too much. Just as recently as December, General Manager Doug Wilson made a closed-door visit to the squad in Montreal amidst a run of form that had Sharks fans screaming for DeBoer’s head. But following that meeting, the team went on a 20-6-2 run that appeared to quash all speculation regarding his job security. However, San Jose has always prided itself on organizational stability, and none of the franchise’s previous four coaches have spent less than four years at the helm. DeBoer is one of the most successful coaches in the history of the Sharks, and while some may speculate as to how much of that is down to Doug Wilson’s master job with the roster, DeBoer certainly hasn’t done poorly with the tools at his disposal.
While the specifics of his contract situation are likely to remain hazy, given the cagey nature of the organization concerning anything financial, one thing appears to be clear — as things stand, DeBoer will be here for a few more seasons to come.