The American Hockey League has announced that the 2019-20 AHL regular season will be paused for the safety of its players, employees, and fans in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) announced today that the organization has selected its coaching staffs at both the National Hockey League (NHL) and American Hockey League (AHL) levels.
Bob Boughner has been named the ninth head coach in Sharks history after serving as the interim head coach for 37 games during the 2019-20 season. Along with Boughner, the Sharks have named Rocky Thompson as associate coach and John Madden as assistant coach.
"Bob did a tremendous job last season, getting our group back to playing with an identity and structure that we need in order to be successful," said Wilson. "We saw a marked improvement in our play in several key areas during the second half of the season, before losing some key players to injury.
"We're also very pleased to add Rocky and John to our staff. Both come with a wealth of experience, both in playing the game and as teachers and leaders. With a healthy and motivated group of players, we are confident that this staff will do a terrific job leading our group in the coming years."
Evgeni Nabokov will return as the team's goaltending coach, Dan Darrow will remain in his current role of assistant coach, video and Charlie Townsend will continue to serve as hockey analyst/assistant to the NHL coaching staff.
Mike Ricci, who spent the final 37 games of the 2019-20 season as an assistant coach with the Sharks, will serve as NHL development coach.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to return to the San Jose Sharks organization as head coach," said Boughner. "I want to thank Hasso Plattner and Doug Wilson for their trust in me. Last year was a difficult season for everyone but I think we learned a lot about ourselves as a group and we made some positive strides over the second half of the year. I've been in contact with many of our players over the break and, as a coaching staff, we are going to make it clear that our team is going to compete every night, play hard and be a tight group on and off the ice.
"Rocky and John will bring some fresh energy and excitement to our group," said Boughner. "Both have been head coaches, worked on coaching staffs in the NHL and have lots of experience working with and developing young players. It was important that anyone we brought in from the outside come from a culture of winning, which is what we are used to in San Jose. Rocky and John have the credibility and work ethic to help us get our talented team back to that level."
In addition, Wilson announced that Roy Sommer will return as head coach of the San Jose Barracuda (AHL, @sjbarracuda), after serving as associate coach for the Sharks for the final 37 games of the 2019-20 season. Sommer's staff will include Assistant Coaches Jimmy Bonneau, Mike Chiasson, Video Coach and Hockey Operations Assistant Nick Gialdini, and AHL Development Coach John McCarthy. The Barracuda have also hired Dany Sabourin as goaltending development coach.
"I want to thank Roy Sommer and Mike Ricci for stepping in under some challenging circumstances to help lead our NHL club last season," said Wilson. "The role that Roy and Mike play in continuing to teach and develop our young players is amongst the most important in our organization."
The 49-year-old Boughner took over as interim head coach in December 2019 and went 14-20-3 in the team's final 37 games. Under Boughner, San Jose went 13-2-1 when allowing two or fewer goals, and owned the NHL's best penalty kill percentage (85.7%). San Jose ranked second in the NHL in home PK percentage (0.1% behind Washington), and was 83.6% on the road, tied for third in the League. Under Boughner, the Sharks goals-against per 60 minutes improved from 29th (3.42) to T-15th (3.03), while their odd-man scoring chances against went from 30th (4.90) to 8th (3.16). In addition, the team's blocked shots per 60 minutes rose from 12.29 (T-25th) to 14.14 (T-13th).
Boughner re-joined the Sharks coaching staff prior to the start of the 2019-20 season as an assistant coach. From 2017-2019, he served as the head coach of the Florida Panthers, where he posted an 80-62-22 record, missing a playoff berth in 2017-18 by one point.
He previously served as an assistant coach with the Sharks from 2015-2017, including helping lead the team to their first Stanley Cup Final berth in 2016. Under Boughner, Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (@Burnzie88) was named a finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman in 2016 and won the award in 2017, when he also finished fourth in Hart Trophy voting as the NHL's Most Valuable Player.
Boughner also served as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010-11.
He led the Windsor Spitfires to consecutive Memorial Cup and Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Championships during the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. He also earned consecutive CHL and OHL Coach of the Year awards in the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009, becoming the first head coach in CHL history to win a Memorial Cup and the CHL Coach of the Year award twice.
A ten-year NHL veteran defenseman, Boughner appeared in 630 NHL games with Colorado, Carolina, Calgary, Pittsburgh, Nashville and Buffalo, amassing 72 points (15 goals, 57 assists) and 1,382 penalty minutes.
Thompson, 43, will be responsible for the defensemen and power play. He joins the Sharks after spending the last three seasons as the head coach of the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights. Thompson led Chicago to a 113-71-18-11 record, winning the Central Division in both its completed seasons and helping the Wolves reach the Calder Cup Finals in 2019, losing to the eventual-champion Charlotte Checkers.
Prior to his time with Chicago, Thompson spent two seasons (2015-2017) as the head coach of the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL, helping the team win a Memorial Cup in 2017. Before joining Windsor, Thompson spent five seasons in the Edmonton Oilers organization, serving as an assistant coach with Edmonton in 2014-15 and an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton's AHL affiliate) from 2010-14, helping the Barons reach the postseason in all four seasons, including consecutive appearances in the Western Conference Final in 2012 and 2013. He began his coaching career as an assistant with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 2007-10.
During his playing career, the former right wing appeared in 25 NHL games with the Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers, recording 117 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 566 AHL games between 1995-2007.
Born in Calgary, Alberta but raised in Whitecourt, the Cree First Nations Thompson, participated in boxing as a teenager, winning gold in the 1993 North American Indigenous Games, as well as in provincial Golden Gloves tournament championships in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
He was originally drafted in the third round (72nd overall) of the 1995 NHL Draft.
Madden, 47, will handle the team's forwards and penalty kill. He joins San Jose after a three-season stint as head coach of the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL. He led the Columbus Blue Jackets' top minor league affiliate to a record of 101-99-19-9 in his three seasons, including an appearance in the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs in 2018-19.
Prior to Cleveland, Madden spent parts of three seasons (2013-2016) as an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers, helping the Panthers reach the postseason in 2015-16, and spent time as a pro scout with the Panthers and Montreal Canadiens following his retirement in 2012.
A 13-year NHL veteran, Madden is a three-time Stanley Cup champion (with New Jersey in 2000 and 2003 and with Chicago in 2010) and earned the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the League's top defensive forward with the Devils in 2001. He recorded 348 points (165 goals and 183 assists) in 898 games with New Jersey, Chicago, Minnesota and Florida, and compiled 43 points (21 goals, 22 assists) in 141 playoff games.
During his four-year collegiate career at the University of Michigan, Madden was a member of the 1996 NCAA championship team and was named to both the CCHA First All-Star and NCAA West First All-American Teams during his final season.
Nabokov, the Sharks franchise leader in nearly every historical goaltending category including games played (563), wins (293) and shutouts (50), was named goaltending coach in Dec. 2019 and previously served as a scout and goaltending development coach for the past five seasons, where he has worked with the goaltending prospects on the Barracuda in the development system. In three of the last four seasons, the Barracuda have had a goaltender selected to the AHL All-Star Game under the tutelage of Nabokov (2017-Troy Grosenick; 2018-Antoine Bibeau; 2019-Josef Korenar).
Nabokov spent ten seasons with the Sharks and 14 years total in the NHL, with the Sharks, New York Islanders and Tampa Bay. He ranks T-21st on the NHL's all-time list in wins (353) and 19th in shutouts (59).
Ricci, who played in 529 games with the Sharks from 1997-2004, was named a Sharks assistant coach for the final 37 games of 2019-20. He will move into a new role as NHL development coach, after spending 12 seasons as a development coach, working closely with the forwards on the Sharks and the Barracuda rosters. His areas of focus include face-off techniques, individual skill development and team systems integration.
The 16-year NHL veteran posted 605 points (243 goals, 362 assists) in 1,099 games with Philadelphia, Colorado, San Jose and Phoenix. He won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996.
Sommer, 63, returns to the AHL as head coach for his record 23rd season. The Oakland, Calif., native was originally hired to guide the Sharks' top prospects on May 28, 1998, when the organization's AHL club was the Kentucky Thoroughblades. Sommer would follow the Sharks affiliate history from Kentucky (1998-2001) to Cleveland (2001-2006), and then to Worcester (2006-2015), before the organization relocated the franchise to San Jose in 2015 to become the Barracuda. During that span, he coached 1,638 regular-season games, more than any other coach in the 85-year history of the league, boasting a record of 773-664-48-153 (W-L-T-OTL/SOL). His 773 wins are the most in AHL history.
In the American Hockey League, Sommer has coached more than 130 players who have gone on to play in the NHL, a list that includes Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc, Joe Pavelski, Dan Boyle, Thomas Greiss, Alex Stalock, Jason Demers, Justin Braun, Miikka Kiprusoff, Evgeni Nabokov, Jonathan Cheechoo, Ryane Clowe and Douglas Murray.
On Dec. 11, 2019, Sommer joined the Sharks' coaching staff as an associate coach. His previous NHL coaching experience had come with the Sharks from 1996-1998 as an assistant under then Head Coach Darryl Sutter. As a player, Sommer's career spanned 10 seasons after being drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1977, scoring a goal in his NHL debut with Edmonton in 1981 and winning a Calder Cup with the Maine Mariners in 1984.
Upon Sommer joining the Sharks coaching staff in Dec., Bonneau and Chiasson served as co-coaches for the Barracuda for the team's final 33 games. During that span, the Barracuda finished with a 12-16-5 record, including a season-long six-game point streak (4-0-2) before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bonneau, 35, enters his third season in 2020-21 as an assistant coach for the Barracuda, after serving as a co-coach, along with Chiasson, in the team's final 33 games of last season.
Before his coaching career, Bonneau played 11 seasons with various clubs in the AHL and ECHL. For four seasons, he played with the Worcester Sharks, including a stint as an alternate captain during the 2013-14 season, scoring five goals, nine assists and 435 penalty minutes in 155 games. He finished his AHL career with 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) and 988 penalty minutes in 350 career games.
Chiasson, 29, enters his third season in 2020-21 as an assistant coach for the Barracuda, after serving as a co-coach, along with Bonneau, in the team's final 33 games of the campaign this past year.
Before his coaching career, Chiasson played for Åmäl SK in Sweden's Division 2 league during the 2015-16 season, collecting 24 points (five goals, 19 assists) in 28 games. He played collegiately at the University of Michigan, recording three goals, 13 assists, 47 penalty minutes, and a plus-14 rating in 86 games while studying Sport Management.
Prior to joining the Barracuda coaching staff, both Bonneau and Chiasson were members of the Sharks scouting department.
After retiring in December due to health reasons, McCarthy joined the Barracuda coaching staff on December 27th as an assistant coach. He will now take over as AHL development coach, working directly with the Barracuda and many of the Sharks' prospects.
McCarthy, who was selected by the Sharks in the seventh round of the 2006 NHL Draft, holds all major Barracuda franchise records including games played (275), goals (62), assists (76), points (138), power-play goals (17), and shorthanded goals (5). He has served as the Barracuda team captain since 2016 and served as captain of the Worcester Sharks for the 2012-13 season.
In addition, McCarthy skated in 88 NHL games with the Sharks between 2009-2016, accumulating six points (three goals, three assists) and 22 penalty minutes.
In 2018, McCarthy was selected to the United States Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Team, appearing in five games at the PyeongChang Olympics.
In 2020-21, Sabourin, 40, enters his first season as goaltending development coach for the organization. Prior to this past year, Sabourin had been the goaltending coach for the QMJHL's Rouyn-Noranda Huskies where he coached Sharks 2018 draft pick Zachary Emond and helped guide the Huskies to the 2019 Memorial Cup.
A 1998 fourth round pick by the Calgary Flames, Sabourin played parts of 17 professional seasons in the ECHL, AHL, NHL, EBEL (Austria) and Ligue Magnus (France), with his final year coming in 2016-17 as a member of the Rouen Dragons (France). In 2005-06, the Val-d'OR, Quebec, Canada native won the AHL's Baz Bastien Memorial Award the league's best goaltender.
In 57 career NHL games between Calgary, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver, Sabourin went 18-25-4 with a 2.88 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage.