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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.

In 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?

It 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.

Notes:

* 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.


Contact Ken at at kensmyth@letsgosharks.com



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