Peter DeBoer Intriguing Choice For Sharks

Are The San Jose Sharks and Peter DeBoer a good match? –

There have been a few surprising choices for head coaching positions in the NHL this year so far but Peter DeBoer hiring by San Jose Sharks surprised me the most.  I thought after limited success with Florida and New Jersey his coaching life in the NHL had come to an end.

I must admit I haven’t followed DeBoer’s resume as a coach so I had to do a little research.  He was a very successful coach in the OHL with the Plymouth Whalers and Kitchener Rangers which lead to his first coaching job in the NHL with the Florida Panthers.  It turned out to be a difficult task trying to get the Panthers in the playoffs.  He was let go after three seasons of not having success but he didn’t have a lot of elite talent to work with.  He resurfaced when Lou Lamoriello of the New Jersey Devils hired him shortly after.

With the New Jersey Devils, he had more talent to work with and made it to the Stanley Cup final in the 2011-12 season only to lose out to the Los Angeles Kings. Next season was more difficult with the loss of Zach Parise to free agency and Marty Brodeur’s age catching up with him as their number one goaltender. Losing Ilya Kovalchuk to the KHL didn’t help Peter DeBoer either.  Again in his NHL career, he was let go only now to resurface in San Jose.

I really didn’t think he would ever get another chance in the NHL as a head coach.  With the Sharks, he has a lot of talent on paper to work with.  When you have players like Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Patrick Marleau, you have a decent core to work with.

No doubt there is going to pressure on Doug Wilson as he tries to turn this team around.  If Peter DeBoer can’t get the Sharks back into the playoffs, heads might roll especially Wilson’s.  Wilson might have a few tricks up his sleeve as the NHL entry draft approaches and with free agency.

Doug Wilson really surprised me with his hiring of Peter DeBoer but maybe I shouldn’t be.  DeBoer, by all accounts, is an experienced NHL coach and maybe he can make all the parts fit with the Sharks.  Todd McLellan is a really good coach and he couldn’t seem to get them to the “Holy Grail”, so to speak, so in my mind DeBoer has his work cut out for him.  I will be watching with interest to see how he does.



  1. Todd Leroux says

    I echo your comments completely, and I honestly don’t watch enough hockey in general to know if he is a good coach, or if he has good systems, but like you say he now has experience coaching ‘young’ teams and those with some talent.

    My question to you and your other readers is, “Does he have his own coaching staff (is he in fact a package deal?), or will he be working with a staff never worked with before?”

    A quick check to listed DeBoer as the coach but nothing showing for the assistant coaches, so it would appear to be the latter.

    On another vein, I always liked SJSs, but Patrick Marleau needs to be euthanized after his complete no-show last year. I watched about 15 of their games in 2014/15 (or parts of), and he was, in fact, a liability. Really bad. Let’s see if Mr. DeBoer can be the anti-Mclellan (whom I really liked as a coach).

    In closing, hope the Sharks fare well this year and farewell the Canucks from any post-season as the Michael D. Gillis ineptitude needs to continue to be highlighted.


    • George Bain says

      I haven’t heard anything about his assistant coaching staff Todd. I really liked Doug Wilson as a player and it will be interesting to see if he finally trades Marleau. One other question for me is his relationship with Thornton? It has been rocky at best. We will see over the course of a few months what unfolds for the organization.

      • Todd Leroux says


        I don’t think Thorton and Marleau are going anywhere given their contracts, age and attitude toward moving.

        San Jose is a nice place to live (my brother lives there).

        But, who really knows what will happen?

        Go Hawks! (though I really don’t care that much).

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