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Al Sims played for the Bruins before coaching the Sharks.
Al Sims lasted only one season behind the Sharks bench. While the team's record improved 15 points over the previous season, it was not enough to keep Sims employed.
The Sharks finished 27-47-8 under Sims in 1996-97 and failed to make the playoffs for the second straight year. They scored fewer goals than any other team in the league, and only two clubs gave up more goals than San Jose that year.
Sims was not retained because he managed to alienate his players. By the time the season was over, there was little doubt he had lost the locker room. An anonymous source close to the team told Tony Cooper of The San Francisco Chronicle, "After the first road trip of the regular season, players wanted to kill him."
Team captain Todd Gill also admitted many players were unhappy with Sims. "I'm not going to say everybody got along with him," Gill told Cooper. "That would be stretching it. He definitely had some people who didn't believe in his tactics."
At the end of the season, general manager Dean Lombardi dismissed Sims. "The fit was not right for the future of this team," Lombardi said, per The Los Angeles Times. "The franchise made many positive strides this season, but this change was necessary to continue in the right direction."
Although he has had success coaching at the minor league level, Sims has not been given another NHL head coaching job since the Sharks let him go.