San Jose Ex-Coaching Staff Jumped By the Sharks

Doug Wilson burned pretty much the entire coaching staff by firing head coach Pete DeBoer, assistant coaches Steve Spott, Dave Barr, and Johan Hedberg; but kept Bob Boughner– who was named interim coach. Fans who have been vocal about DeBoer get their scapegoat wish, while Wilson will see what kind of fire this lights under this very under performing team.

DeBoer was a defensive minded coach, but with Martin Jones and Aaron Dell being tire fires in net and according to some advanced stats– the worst (Dell) and third worst (Jones) goalies in the entire league, it didn’t help DeBoer’s cause. The defense itself is a great as helping scoring, but helping prevent it is another thing, as they’ve let in the second most goals in the league at the time of this writing. Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson aren’t lighting the world on fire, though the latter has been better as the season’s gone on. Then on offense– there’s Logan Couture, Evander Kane, and allegedly Joe Thornton is still play– though I’ve only seen a husk of what used to be Thornton on the ice picking fights with goalies and former Stanley Cup champions.

Is Pete DeBoer a bad coach?? I’m sure it’s as subjective as it seems. He went to the Stanley Cup twice, but has missed the playoffs in six of his 11 coaching seasons in the NHL. Some will say he’s a good asset, others will damn his name. After the initial blast of spirited enthusiasm, he seems like a guy who has a voice that would run it’s course very quickly, especially in a room of veteran players. You know things are bad when this is the first time Doug Wilson has fired a coach mid-season in his eternal tenure as Sharks GM.

Will Bob Boughner be the savior of the season?? Probably not. In fact, he’s picking up in a situation that he left off at in Florida– shotty goaltending and defense that leaves a lot to be desired in their own zone. Could he just be a lame duck for the short-term?? Maybe, but this could be a second-wind for him and maybe with talent around him, the team could actually start living up to potential.

Which they better do because there’s not many trades to be made to make this team better due to the tight salary cap they have and lack of anything on the horizon from the AHL to help them out. But with a voice change, could mean a style change and the offense actually taking off and the players who feel like they’ve held back finally breaking through.

It remains to be seen how this will play out, because it’s an audition for Boughner, who could be out the door by the end of the year because he couldn’t get this team going– but it also marks the fifth coach who has been fired this year. Granted, three were because of them being idiots and messing with their players or putting the team’s good name in a bad spot, but the media made sure to let you know this DeBoer firing was purely hockey related, no off-ice stuff, no abuse– just not getting the job done.

On the Topic Of Fickle Coaching Decisions

Sunday, both Phil Housley and Bob Boughner were fired from their teams only two years into their tenure behind the benches of the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers respectively. We all know coaches are hired to be fired and often they get fired due to the general manager’s inability to build a good roster for them– but only two years behind the bench seems like a mere blink of the eye when you look at the bigger picture.

These are teams that need stability and to have coaches there for that little of a time doesn’t help their cause for that. For Buffalo, post-Lindy Ruff since November 2013– no head coach has survived more than two years. Ron Rolston, Ted Nolan, Dan Bylsma and now Housley have all had short tenures not lasting longer than two seasons. For Florida post-Kevin Dineen after the 2012-13 season the Panthers have gone through Peter Horachek, Gerard Gallant, Tom Rowe, and now Boughner.

Of course, of the two, Housley didn’t have the best of success, only going 58-84-22 in his two years while having a group of young talent at his disposal, but goaltending being a question mark since Dominik Hasek left. Boughner went 80-62-22 while having a talented group that had a top power play, penalty kill, but lacked goaltending. I’m sensing a theme with the goaltending.

Regardless of that, having only a limited time to actually figure out how to coach a team that may not be the top notch squad seems like an impossible task that makes someone destined to fail. Only one year to get situation and then if you can’t get to the playoffs in the second year, it’s done?? I get that there’s a “win now, make money” mentality, but to have this lack of stability– especially for young players on the team– can’t be great from outsiders who teams may be courting in free agency.

It seems to always come to the GMs making bad deals and the owners allowing them to make those bad deals. It hampers any kind of progress most of the times, while giving anyone behind the bench a payday, but a short-term payday. Hell, even college coaches get a full class (four years) to prove their worth. Of course, this isn’t college and some players aren’t willing to adjust and adapt to win. Some players want coaches to fit their styles rather than the other way around. That’s on the GM to get the right chemistry in the room to make them a winner regardless of the coach.

Head coaching is a fickle thing. Most times you’re given a bad roster and tasked to make them into Cup champions. Owners and GM have lofty goals from the onset and these guys aren’t paid enough to have to deal with these lofty goals and deal with some prima donnas that don’t fit the vision they have for the team they want to inherit.

Granted, if they go somewhere else and succeed with the right roster in the right situation, then these GMs and owners will look even more foolish than they have been for letting them go in such a short time.