San Jose Sharks Coaches: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Most NHL fans know that the San Jose Sharks are one of the premier teams in the league, with one of the premier coaching staffs. However, most fans are unaware the the Sharks were once the laughingstock of the NHL; one of the worst teams in the league year after year. Multiple coaching changes did not seem to do the Sharks any good, until they started to kick it into gear in the mid-1990s, and they have now developed into the superb team that they are today.
Throughout the course of Sharks' history, there have been many coaches. Some have been successful, while some have failed miserably. Read on to find out who these coaches are, as we take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of San Jose Sharks coaches.
Games Coached: 157
The Sharks made the playoffs under Constantine during the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons for the first times in franchise history, and they shocked the world. Jamie Baker's infamous goal in Game 7 helped San Jose upset Detroit in the first round in '94, and Ray Whitney's double-overtime goal in the '95 playoffs helped defeat Calgary. The Sharks were huge underdogs both times, but Constantine's team pushed through.
Games Coached: 385
Record: 206-122-19(T) - 38(OT)
Wilson is winningest coach in Sharks history, with 206 wins. Although he failed to help the Sharks reach the Stanley Cup Finals even once, Wilson established the winning attitude in San Jose. The Sharks reached the postseason every year under his guidance.
Games Coached: 434
Record: 192-167-60 (T)
Sutter has coached the most games in Sharks history, and his hiring can be considered as a turning point in franchise history. He was the first coach to have an above-.500 win-loss record (none of his predecessors are even remotely close to the .500 mark). The Sharks made the playoffs each year with Sutter at the helm, and he paved the way for Ron Wilson's success in San Jose.
Games Coached (as of October 10, 2011): 246
Record (as of October 10, 2011) : 152-63-41
As the current head coach, Todd McClellan has perhaps achieved the most out of any San Jose Sharks head coach and has a bright future ahead of him. Two straight trips to the Western Conference finals have him primed and ready to help the team win its first Stanley Cup. McClellan has that no-nonsense attitude around his players and the media and that greatly contributes to his success on the rink.
Games Coached: 82
Record: 27-47-8 (T)
Sims helped the Sharks finish last with just twenty-seven wins in 1996-97. Oh well, at least he helped us get Patrick Marleau.
Tenure: 1995-1996 (Interim)
Games Coached: 57
Record: 17-37-3 (T)
Kevin Constantine was fired midway through the 1995-96 season after a slow start and was replaced by Wiley, who didn't do much better. Wiley holds the franchise record for least wins and least points (37). He was replaced the next year by the aforementioned Sims.
Record: 28-129-7 (T)
Not only is Kingston the worst coach in Sharks history, he just may be the worst coach to ever lead an NHL team. Kingston and the Sharks struggled mightily. The team went 17-58 in 1991-92, the Sharks' first season in existence (and first under Kingston). That's respectable, considering that they were an expansion team. However, consider that the Sharks were 11-71-2 in 1992-93—that stands as an NHL record for most losses in a single season.
That record gives Kingston a dismal average of 31.5 points per season, and his .178 winning percentage is the worst in NHL history for a head coach.
Kingston was mercifully let go at the end of the 1992-93 season and is now a coach in Norway.