McCarthy named head coach of Barracuda

Photo: Kavin Mistry

The San Jose Sharks have named John McCarthy the new head coach of their AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda, while Roy Sommer has been named a senior advisor for the Barracuda.

“John McCarthy is a natural fit as the next head coach of the San Jose Barracuda,” said Joe Will, interim general manager of the Sharks. “His leadership skills and professionalism, matched with his hockey IQ, have allowed him to succeed throughout his long and distinguished career with the Sharks and Barracuda. These traits, which he showed extensively as part of our player development staff over the last two years, will be a great asset for our developing players.”

McCarthy, 35, has spent the last two seasons as a development coach for the Barracuda after spending part of the 2019-20 season as an assistant following his retirement from playing.

McCarthy skated in 577 career regular-season AHL games over 11 professional seasons — all but 25 of those contests with the San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliates in San Jose and Worcester. He totaled 130 goals and 167 assists for 297 points in the AHL, and is the Barracuda’s all-time leader in games played (275), goals (62), assists (76) and points (138). McCarthy served as captain of the Sharks’ AHL affiliate in 2012-13 and again from 2016 to 2019, and won the AHL’s Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award in 2019-20 for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

Originally drafted by the Sharks in 2006, McCarthy also had three goals and three assists in 88 career NHL games with San Jose, and he was a member of the United States Olympic men’s hockey team in 2018.

Sommer has served as the head coach for the Sharks’ top development program for the last 24 seasons, and is the American Hockey League’s all-time leader in games coached (1,742) and victories (808). The Oakland, Calif., native was originally named to the post on May 28, 1998, and has guided the Sharks’ prospects with the Kentucky Thoroughblades (1998-2001), Cleveland Barons (2001-06), Worcester Sharks (2006-15) and Barracuda (2015-22).

Sommer’s AHL clubs won four division titles, and he also worked behind the bench at three AHL All-Star Classics (2000, 2015, 2019). In 2016-17, Sommer earned the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach.

In the AHL, Sommer coached more than 150 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, a list that includes Logan CoutureTomas HertlTimo MeierKevin Labanc, Matthew Nieto, Chris Tierney, Jacob Middleton, Joe PavelskiBarclay GoodrowRyan Carpenter, Dan BoyleChristian EhrhoffBrad BoyesJosh GorgesSteve BernierTorrey MitchellThomas GreissJason DemersAndrew DesjardinsJamie McGinnAlex StalockJustin BraunTommy WingelsMiikka KiprusoffEvgeni NabokovJonathan CheechooRyane Clowe and Douglas Murray.

Prior to being named the Sharks’ AHL head coach, Sommer spent the 1997-98 season as an NHL assistant coach under Darryl Sutter in San Jose. Sommer played 10 seasons of professional hockey after being drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1977, scoring a goal in his NHL debut with Edmonton in 1981 and winning a Calder Cup with the Maine Mariners in 1984.

The Sharks also announced that Barracuda assistant coach Jimmy Bonneau has been reassigned to his previous role as a professional scout for the organization, and that assistant Michael Chiasson and goaltending coach Dany Sabourin have left the organization.