Sommer gets call to join Sharks

Photo: Kavin Mistry

The San Jose Sharks announced on Wednesday that San Jose Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer is joining the Sharks’ staff as associate coach, joining assistant coach Mike Ricci and goaltending coach Evgeni Nabokov under new interim head coach Bob Boughner.

Sommer, 62, was in his 22nd season coaching in the AHL, a tenure spent entirely in the Sharks organization. The Oakland, Calif., native was named head coach of the Sharks’ top development affiliate on May 28, 1998, and has guided the Kentucky Thoroughblades (1998-2001), Cleveland Barons (2001-06), Worcester Sharks (2006-15) and Barracuda (2015-19) over 1,638 regular-season games — including Wednesday night’s 6-2 victory over Bakersfield — more than any coach in the league’s 84-year history. His career record of 773-743-122 leaves him with a remarkable 137 more victories than anyone else.

Sommer’s clubs won four division titles and have reached the postseason in each of the last five years, including the Barracuda’s trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2017. Sommer also worked behind the bench at three AHL All-Star Classics (2000, 2015, 2019), and earned the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach in 2016-17.

In the AHL, Sommer has coached more than 130 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, a list that includes Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc, Chris Tierney, Joe PavelskiDan 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 Barracuda announced that assistants Jimmy Bonneau and Michael Chiasson will serve as co-coaches for the AHL club.