Photo credit: @CompleteHkyNews
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE — Peter DeBoer is no longer the head coach of the San Jose Sharks. His time with the Sharks ended today, after the team returned from a winless four game road trip. They have just 15 wins this season in 33 games, and have lost their last five games. The Sharks also announced that assistant coaches Steve Spott and Dave Barr and goaltending coach Johan Hedberg were dismissed as well.
Assistant Coach Bob Boughner was named interim head coach, with Roy Sommer as assistant coach and Mike Ricci as associate coach. Evgeni Nabokov will step in as goaltending coach.
In their press release, General Manager Doug Wilson said: “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.”
The Sharks started this season with one of the worst Octobers in team history, only to rally in November and claw their way back into the playoff picture. Instead of continuing on that trajectory, they have dropped again to sixth in the Pacific Division and a recent record of 4-5-1. The team is laboring with a minus 25 goal differential. Only one team in the league has allowed more than the Sharks’ 114 goals against this season, and that is the Detroit Red Wings. That is somewhat shocking with two Norris Trophy winning defensemen on the Sharks’ blue line.
DeBoer became the Sharks head coach at the end of the 2014-15 season, replacing Todd McLellan. His tenure with the Sharks had an eerie similarity to his time with the New Jersey Devils, the NHL team he coached before the Sharks. In his first season in New Jersey, he led the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final. Their record declined steeply from there. Under DeBoer’s leadership, the Sharks also reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in team history. That was DeBoer’s first season with the organization and, as with the Devils, that was the high point of his record in San Jose.