San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson must step up and not retain Bob Boughner.
With all due respect to Bob Boughner, he should not be the long term solution bench boss for the San Jose Sharks. It was mediocre coaches like Todd McLellan and Peter DeBoer that slammed the Sharks cup window shut.
Boughner is just another rendition of the status quo.
The team needs to seriously consider candidates like Gerard Gallant, Mike Babcock, or perhaps even a Dan Bylsma.
Continuity is fundamental to Doug Wilson, and that was okay then. But it is not okay now, because it is apparent that it is not a winning strategy. He desperately holds onto this continuity by retaining an interim coach who was an assistant during the 2016 playoff run.
He holds onto continuity in the roster by not granting a trade to Joe Thornton after everything he has done for the organization.
Even when he tries to shake up the league by trading for Erik Karlsson, when it was clear that letting him walk was the smartest decision, he doubled down by giving him a lucrative contract.
Frankly, that contract puts Team Teal in a tough spot for just shy of a decade. At least for the Sharks, continuity is not a winning strategy that is very much hurting the franchise long term.
At this point, the Sharks can only get better over time rather than garnering an immediate turnaround. There will be no trade or signing that saves the franchise in the immediate future. But shaking up the coaching will pay dividends much quicker.
The New York Islanders are an example of what the San Jose Sharks could be.
Take the New York Islanders, for example. In the Summer of 2018, when captain John Tavares left in free agency, the organization hit a new low point. One of the first changes that the team made was altering the coaching staff.
They shelled out and jumped on hiring Barry Trotz when they had the chance. They also brought in Mitch Korn to be the goaltending coach. They shook up the very core of their team for the greater good.
Korn is arguably the best goaltending coach in the league, taking declining goalie after declining goalie and revitalizing their career.
His work has resulted in a Vezina Trophy candidacy for Robin Lehner and a complete career revival of Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov.
Trotz implemented his defensive centric style of hockey to a team that everyone counted out. That group of ‘misfits’ is currently competing in the Eastern Conference Final.
These were decisions made by the team’s general manager Lou Lamoriello, which is why he is the winner of the General Manager of the Year award this season.
If Doug Wilson wants to return to elite GM status, he needs to be bold and take a team that everyone is counting out back to new heights.
Please do not stick with Boughner. Seize the opportunity to make meaningful and lasting change.
Should he continue with the decision that will likely happen, the Sharks will be in a tough place for the foreseeable future.