The San Jose Sharks fired coach Bob Boughner and his staff two months after the end of the regular season.
The team confirmed the changes on Friday, after reports surfaced about Boughner and assistants John MacLean and John Madden were told on Thursday evening that they would be leaving. Video coach Dan Darrow was also fired, and the Sharks said no replacement was immediately named.
The organization is still in the midst of a long search for a chief executive after Doug Wilson stepped down after nearly two decades on the job. Acting general manager Joe Will made the moves.
Boughner, 51, has coached the Sharks for the past 2 1/2 seasons after replacing Peter DeBoer in December 2019. They have missed the playoffs each of the past three years after a streak of 14 playoff appearances in 15 seasons , including a trip to the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals.
“It has become clear that the organization is evolving,” Will said in a statement. “At the end of the day, we’ve missed the playoffs for the past three seasons, which is not acceptable to our owner, our organization, or our fans. As part of that evolution and evaluation, we felt that it was in the best interests of the club to allow the next general manager of the Sharks complete autonomy over the composition of the on-ice coaching staff in the future.”
Boughner had one year left on his $1.5 million contract. There is only one NHL head coaching vacancy left in the league with the Winnipeg Jets.
“The past two-plus seasons have been extremely difficult – on and off the ice – and Bob and his staff have worked admirably under very difficult circumstances,” Will said. “This change is not so much an indictment of their performance as an acknowledgment of the full organizational reset which we believe is in the best interest of the team at this point.”
Boughner played nearly 700 regular season and NHL playoff games as a hard-working defenseman before becoming a coach. It was his second stint behind the bench with San Jose after spending two years as an assistant on DeBoer’s staff from 2015 to 2017 before taking over as coach of the Florida Panthers.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports