The San Jose Sharks named Bob Boughner as their next head coach on Tuesday after liking what they saw from him on an interim basis during the 2019-20 season. Boughner served as the Sharks interim head coach after Peter DeBoer was fired in December.
Boughner led the Sharks to a 14-20-3 record after taking over for DeBoer. Once the coronavirus pandemic put the NHL season on pause, the Sharks season ended because they didn't qualify for the 24-team postseason tournament.
"Bob did a tremendous job last season, getting our group back to playing with an identity and structure that we need in order to be successful," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We saw a marked improvement in our play in several key areas during the second half of the season, before losing some key players to injury."
Prior to coaching the Sharks on an interim basis, Boughner served as the head coach of the Florida Panthers for two full seasons from 2017 to 2019. During that time, the former NHL defenseman put together a 80-62-22 record, but the Panthers missed the postseason in each of those two campaigns.
"Last year was a difficult season for everyone, but I think we learned a lot about ourselves as a group and we made some positive strides over the second half of the year," Boughner said. "I've been in contact with many of our players over the break and, as a coaching staff, we are going to make it clear that our team is going compete every night, play hard and be a tight group on and off the ice."
In addition to elevating Boughner to head coach, the Sharks named former Chicago Wolves (American Hockey League) coach Rocky Thompson as associate coach in charge of defensemen and the power play unit. In addition, former Cleveland Monster head coach John Madden was named as an assistant coach that will be in charge of forwards and the penalty kill.
The Sharks finished in last place in the Pacific Division last season.