Ready Player 4
Lots of NHL Coaches looking for work
|12/13/19 - By Ken Smyth -
Peter DeBoer becomes the fifth NHL head coach to
be fired this season, and it's not even Christmas. The profession has a
radioactive half-life of about three years and it's getting worse. If your
seats are behind a team bench you might consider wearing a dosimeter. He was
also the third coach to serve under Doug Wilson during Wilson's tenure as
General Manager. While he doesn't carry the biggest share of the blame for the
team's lousy start and indifferent play, he's the first one to pay with his job
and he knew that going into the profession.
This puts Doug Wilson in
very rare territory for modern NHL executives; usually after the second coach
firing, ownership considers someone else to do the coach hiring. But that could
wait until the end of the season. Or, might not happen at all.
November 2018, Craig Berube was promoted from assistant to head coach of the St
Louis Blues. He took that team on to win the Western Conference and then the
Stanley Cup last June. For the record, he was the Blues fourth coach under GM
Doug Armstrong. Can Boughner do something similar with the Sharks?
doesn't look very likely given the current construction of the team. To provide
long-term contracts to veteran core players (Couture, Vlasic, Jones, Karlsson,
Kane, Burns), secondary players (Braun, Donskoi, Tierney, etc) were traded or
allowed to go off as free agents.
Unproven talent took their places and the results this
season are pretty awful. This was the team that DeBoer was given to start the
season. Add that to the schedule that looks suspiciously looks like the NHL's
attempt to show NO favoritism to the Sharks (opening with two against Vegas and
twelve road games in October? Really?) It sure looks like Peter DeBoer is the
designated fall guy. Good luck to the promoted Bob Boughner, now interim head
coach. Doug Wilson's player four.
* As for
DeBoer, at least the Sharks flew him home and didn't strand him during the road
trip; like Florida did to Gord Gallant back in 2016. (Note for hockey
executives- if you find yourself about to do something the way that the Florida
Panthers did it, STOP!)
* The other assistant coaches were let go as
well. Joining the Boogieman will be Mike Ricci, and Evgeni Nabokov from the
Sharks' development staff and San Jose Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer. This
will be Sommer's second tour behind the Sharks' bench, he served as an
assistant under Al Sims and Darryl Sutter in 1996-98.
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