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Sharks hire John Maclean as assistant coach

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Maclean will replace Rocky Thompson behind the bench.

Carolina Hurricanes v Florida Panthers, SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 18: Chad LaRose #59 of the Carolina Hurricanes chats with Assistant Coach John MacLean in between shifts against the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center on December 18, 2011 in Sunrise, Florida.      Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson and Head Coach Bob Boughner have jointly announced that John Maclean has been hired as an assistant coach for the 2021-22 season.

Bob Boughner said of the hiring, “John’s experience speaks for itself, and he checks a lot of the boxes we were hoping to fill with this role — He has won the Stanley Cup as a player and a coach and knows how to relate to today’s player. In doing our diligence for this role, I spoke with many people, and everyone had great things to say about John as both a coach and a person. I’m excited to add him to our staff and look forward to having a great training camp as we prepare to start our season.”

Maclean is replacing Rocky Thompson, who had to step down due to the NHL’s Covid Protocols, which state that any NHL personnel with regular and close contact with players must be vaccinated. Thompson revealed that he is unvaccinated due to a medical exemption. Thompson worked for the Sharks in the assistant coach role for one season and spent the majority of his time with the team as the power play coordinator and coaching the defense.

Maclean’s role will include coaching the forwards and power play. The Sharks’ power play deserves some work after last season’s success rate of 14.1 percent, ranking 29th overall in the league.

Maclean was selected sixth overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils. He played 1,194 NHL games over the course of an 18-season career for a total of 842 points. Maclean still holds onto the New Jersey Devils’ all-time points list, ranked second for points (701), power play points (196) and goals (347), fourth in assists (354) and third in penalty minutes (1,168). Although the majority of his career was spent with the Devils, Maclean also played briefly with the Sharks, New York Rangers and Dallas Stars.

In his time with the Sharks during the 1997-98 season, Maclean played 56 regular season games and six Stanley Cup Playoff games.

After his storied NHL career, Maclean has a lengthy coaching profile, making him the perfect fit for the assistant coaching position for the Sharks. He began his coaching career with the New Jersey Devils from 2002 to 2009, which included the team’s 2003 Stanley Cup. Maclean then spent the 2009-10 season as head coach for the Lowell Devils (AHL) and the 2010-11 season as head coach for the New Jersey Devils. Maclean then left the Devils’ organization, spending the next few years from 2011 to 2014 as an assistant coach for the Carolina Hurricanes. Prior to signing with the San Jose Sharks, Maclean spent three seasons (2017 to 2020) as an assistant coach for the Arizona Coyotes.

John Maclean will join assistant coach John Madden, goaltending coach Evgeni Nabokov, and video coach Dan Darrow to round out the Sharks’ bench staff.