Sommer returning to Barracuda

Photo: Kavin Mistry/NHLI via Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks announced today that Roy Sommer will return to his position as head coach of the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda in 2020-21.

Sommer was named associate coach of the Sharks on Dec. 11, 2019, working with interim head coach Bob Boughner.

Jimmy Bonneau and Michael Chiasson, who served as co-coaches of the Barracuda after Sommer’s departure, will resume their roles as assistant coaches. John McCarthy has been named AHL development coach, and Dany Sabourin has joined the organization as goaltending development coach.

Sommer, 63, enters his 23rd season as head coach of the Sharks’ AHL affiliate in 2020-21. The Oakland, Calif., native was originally named to the post on May 28, 1998, and has guided the Kentucky Thoroughblades (1998-2001), Cleveland Barons (2001-06), Worcester Sharks (2006-15) and Barracuda (2015- ) over 1,638 regular-season games — more than any coach in the league’s 84-year history.

Sommer’s career record of 773-743-122 puts him 137 victories ahead of second-place Bun Cook (636).

Sommer’s AHL clubs have won four division titles and have reached the postseason in each of the last five completed seasons, including the Barracuda’s trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2017. Sommer has also worked behind the bench at three AHL All-Star Classics (2000, 2015, 2019), and he 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 CoutureTomas HertlTimo MeierKevin LabancChris TierneyJoe Pavelski, Barclay Goodrow, Ryan Carpenter, Melker Karlsson, 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.

Sabourin, 40, joins the Sharks organization after serving as goaltending coach at Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL). Sabourin played 294 games in the AHL with Saint John, Lowell, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Manitoba, Springfield, Providence and Hershey, and won the Baz Bastien Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender in 2005-06.

The Sharks also announced that former AHL head coaches Rocky Thompson and John Madden have joined their NHL coaching staff as assistants. Thompson spent three seasons (2017-20) as head coach of the Chicago Wolves, leading them to the Calder Cup Finals in 2019. Madden had a three-year stint as head coach of the Cleveland Monsters (2016-19) that included a run to the second round of the playoffs in 2019.