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Bob Boughner Fired as Sharks Head Coach After 3 Seasons

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 1, 2022

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks fired head coach Bob Boughner on Friday after three straight playoff-less seasons.

Assistant coaches John Madden and John MacLean were also let go, as was assistant coach (video) Dan Darrow.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman broke the news of Boughner's dismissal.

Boughner took over the Sharks' staff on an interim basis in December 2019 following the dismissal of Peter DeBoer. He was promoted to the full-time role in September 2020. It marked his second head coaching job after two seasons with the Florida Panthers (2017-19).

San Jose posted a 67-85-23 record (.449 points percentage) during his tenure. The team finished 12th in the Western Conference with 77 points in 2021-22.

In May, Boughner said he felt the Sharks were ready to turn a corner next season and confirmed the staff's desire to return.

"We put a lot of time in with this group, and we want to be a part of it moving forward," the 51-year-old Canadian told reporters. "I've said there's light at the end of the tunnel for sure. The guys play hard for us, bought into the system, bought into the culture we created, the environment and they all want to improve."

It's unclear why San Jose waited so long to make a decision about the coaches, but it's likely linked to the franchise's GM search, which is nearing an end.

Friedman reported Wednesday on The Jeff Marek Show (via Sheng Peng of SJ Hockey Now) the Sharks had narrowed their list down to a group of finalists, which was expected to include former NHL players Ray Whitney and Mike Grier.

It's not uncommon for a new GM to hire their own coaching staff.

Boughner played 10 NHL seasons with six different teams. He earned the nickname "The Boogieman" for his physical style of play.

The former defenseman started his coaching career with the OHL's Windsor Spitfires in 2006 and received his first NHL opportunity as an assistant with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010.

San Jose will probably want its new GM in place before the 2022 NHL draft gets underway Thursday, and the coaching search figures to start shortly after that hire.

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