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Sharks Retain Bob Boughner As Coach, Remove Interim Tag

SAN JOSE (AP) — The San Jose Sharks have retained Bob Boughner as their coach, removing the interim tag to make him the ninth full-time head coach in franchise history.

The Sharks announced their full coaching staffs for the NHL and AHL levels Tuesday.

Boughner rejoined the Sharks as an assistant to Peter DeBoer in the summer of 2019, and he took over as interim coach after DeBoer and the rest of his assistants were fired last Dec. 11.

San Jose went 14-20-3 with Boughner behind the bench and missed the playoffs for only the second time since 2003, but general manager Doug Wilson saw enough progress to stick with Boughner.

"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," 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."

Boughner initially spent two seasons on DeBoer's staff from 2015-17, including the Sharks' run to their only Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2016. He was then hired as the head coach of the Florida Panthers in June 2017, but rejoined the Sharks when he was fired following two straight non-playoff seasons.

"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 in a statement.

San Jose also announced several changes to Boughner's staff, adding Rocky Thompson as associate coach and John Madden as assistant coach. Dan Darrow will stay on staff as an assistant coach, and longtime Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov was retained as goaltending coach.

Roy Sommer, the Sharks' associate coach under Boughner last season, will return to be the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda. Mike Ricci, the former Sharks forward who became an assistant under Boughner, will be an NHL development coach.

Boughner spent 10 years with six teams as a tough NHL defenseman. He coached the OHL's Windsor Spitfires for eight seasons after his retirement as a player, winning two Memorial Cups before beginning his NHL coaching career.

Thompson spent the past three seasons as the head coach of the AHL's Chicago Wolves, the top affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights. Thompson succeeded Boughner as the head coach at Windsor in 2015, and he won the Memorial Cup in 2017.

Madden is a three-time Stanley Cup champion forward with New Jersey and Chicago who won the Selke Trophy in 2001 as the league's top defensive forward. He spent the past three seasons as head coach of the AHL's Cleveland Monsters, Columbus' top affiliate.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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