It’s been four weeks since the Sharks announced that coaches Johan Hedberg and Bob Boughner would be joining Peter DeBoer’s coaching staff in San Jose for the upcoming season.
There are still plans to add to that group, according to a team source. Training camp is approximately six weeks away.
Just who that coach or coaches will be remains hazy, although there are a few names that are likely still in the mix.
Steve Spott, most recently an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs, has power play experience – something that the Sharks still need from one of their coaches. He was with DeBoer in the Ontario Hockey League in Plymouth and Kitchener, and in June, a source told CSNCalifornia.com that Spott was one of the final candidates and may even be the front-runner.
DeBoer also confirmed to CSNCalifornia.com last month that he had spoken with former Capitals and Devils coach Adam Oates about joining the Sharks. Another power play specialist, Oates ran DeBoer’s unit in 2012 when the Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. New Jersey finished 14th in the NHL in the regular season on the power play that year at 17.2 percent.
There’s also Evgeni Nabokov, who retired from the NHL last season. During the team’s development camp earlier this month Nabokov was seen on the ice working with the prospects, although a team spokesman would only refer to the longtime fan favorite as a “guest coach.” Perhaps Nabokov was auditioning for a role with the organization, but that he was on the ice at all was yet another hint that he will be joining the Sharks again in some fashion now that his playing days are over.
As for the coaches that have already been named, their roles are becoming clearer. Boughner will focus on the Sharks’ defense and penalty kill, while Hedberg will naturally work with the goaltenders. Hedberg will also likely act as a team’s “eye in the sky” during the first two periods of games before joining the bench for the third.