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All signs reportedly point to Bob Boughner returning as Sharks’ head coach

The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz says the team will look at shuffling the coaching staff.

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GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 14: Interim head coach Bob Boughner of the San Jose Sharks looks on from the bench during the second period of the NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 14, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

It looks like Bob Boughner will be back at the head coach of the San Jose Sharks next season.

The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz was asked in a recent mailbag about the team’s coaching situation, and here is his response:

“I’ve said many times and I’ll say it again that all signs point to Boughner returning as the head coach. I also believe there could be at least one or two new hires for the coaching staff, allowing guys like Mike Ricci and Roy Sommer to return to their roles in player development.”

Boughner took over the job in December when Peter DeBoer was relieved of his duties. The Sharks went 14-20-3 under Boughner to finish out the season. San Jose was decimated by injuries to key players, including: Erik Karlsson, Tomas Hertl and captain Logan Couture. Although the Sharks were missing their best players for extended periods, the team still improved its underlying numbers under Boughner.

San Jose players praised the job Boughner did under difficult circumstances, something general manager Dough Wilsons says would be a factor in his final decision. Some of the other available head coaching candidates have been around for a long time. Names like Mike Babcock, Peter Laviolette, Gerard Gallant and Bruce Boudreau are all out of jobs at the moment, giving Wilson plenty of options.

Boughner will have the opportunity to succeed if Wilson can fix some of the issues with the roster. With the Sharks up against the salary cap limit, Wilson will have to get creative to improve the depth of the team, and potentially address the goaltending. Starter Martin Jones ranked dead last in the league in 5-on-5 save percentage (.892), per Natural Stat Trick.

How do you feel about Boughner reportedly being brought back as the Sharks’ head coach next season?