The dismissal of San Jose Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer and three of his assistant coaches on Wednesday evening not only saw the elevation of Bob Boughner to interim head coach but also the return of two former franchise stars to prominent roles. Mike Ricci will join Boughner’s staff as an assistant coach while former netminder Evgeni Nabokov will serve as the new goaltending coach.
Both players have been involved with the organization for a number of years post-retirement; Ricci has been a development coach for the last 12 seasons and Nabokov a scout and goaltending development coach for the past five.
Also joining the staff is Roy Sommer, coach of the Sharks’ American Hockey League affiliate. Sommer is the AHL’s all-time leader in games coached and wins.
Boughner’s group will now have the task of turning around an underperforming Sharks team that sits in sixth place in the Pacific Division. Here’s a closer look at its new coaching staff:
Head coach: Bob Boughner
NHL stats: From 1995-06, he registered 72 career points (15 goals, 57 assists) and 1,382 penalty minutes in 630 games as a defenseman for the Buffalo Sabres, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes.
Coaching experience: Served as head coach of the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) from 2006-10 and 2011-15 and the Florida Panthers from 2017-19. With Windsor, he led the franchise to back-to-back Memorial Cup championships in 2009 and 2010 and was the CHL and OHL Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2009. Between stints in the OHL, he was an assistant coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets. In 2015, he joined the Sharks as an assistant coach under DeBoer. Boughner returned last May after being replaced in Florida by Joel Quenneville.
San Jose Sharks stats: He was an assistant coach for the Sharks team that went to the franchise’s first — and only — Stanley Cup Final in 2016. Under his tutelage, Brent Burns earned the 2017 Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman and was a finalist for the award in 2016.
Associate coach: Roy Sommer
NHL stats: Sommer had one goal in three games for the Edmonton Oilers during the 1980-81 season.
Coaching experience: The American Hockey League’s all-time leader in games coached and wins, with an overall record of 772-664-48-153 (W-L-T-OTL/SOL), Sommer began his coaching career with the Muskegon Lumberjacks (IHL) in 1987-88. After serving as an assistant coach with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders, he was a head coach in the ECHL for five seasons and with two teams, leading the Richmond Renegades to the championship in 1995.
San Jose Sharks stats: In 1996, Sommer joined Al Sims’ staff as an assistant coach and then stayed when Daryl Sutter was bench boss for the Sharks in 1997-98. The following year, he moved to San Jose’s AHL affiliate, where he had spent the past 21 seasons (Kentucky, 1998-01; Cleveland, 2001-06; Worcester, 2006-15; San Jose, 2015-19). Since moving to San Jose, the Barracuda made the playoffs every year and advanced to the Western Conference finals in 2017. During his long tenure in the AHL, more than 130 players have advanced to the NHL — 19 last year.
Assistant coach: Mike Ricci
NHL stats: From 1990-2007, Ricci scored 605 career points (243 goals, 362 assists) in 1,099 games between the Sharks, Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers and Phoenix Coyotes. Known for being a gritty player, he was also a member of the 1996 Stanley Cup champion Avalanche.
San Jose Sharks stats: He netted 101 goals and added 162 assists in 529 games with San Jose from 1997-2004. A member of the first team in franchise history to make the Western Conference finals, he ranks 10th with 38 power-play goals and ninth with six short-handed goals.
Coaching experience: Ricci has been a development coach with the Sharks for the last 12 seasons, working with the forwards at the NHL and AHL levels focusing on faceoff techniques, individual skill development and team systems integration.
Goaltending coach: Evgeni Nabokov
NHL stats: The 2001 Calder Trophy winner racked up a 353-227-86 record in 697 games suiting up for the Sharks, New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning. He boasts a career .911 save percentage along with 59 shutouts and is 20th on the NHL’s all-time wins list.
San Jose Sharks stats: Nabokov spent 10 years in San Jose after being drafted in the ninth round by the team (219th overall) in 1994. He is the franchise leader in almost every goaltending category, including games played (563), wins (293) and shutouts (50). In his Calder-winning season, he went 32-21-7 with a .915 save percentage. In 2008, he was the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy with a 2.45 GAA and a league-high 46 wins.
Coaching experience: After retiring in 2015, Nabokov has served as a scout and goaltending development coach with the Sharks. He worked with the goaltending prospects on the Barracuda and, as a result, the last three seasons a netminder has been selected to the AHL All-Star Game (Troy Grosenick, 2017; Antoine Bibeau, 2018; Josef Korenar, 2019).