The San Jose Sharks have yet to officially announce Pete DeBoer as their next head coach, but Larry Robinson, the club’s director of player development, is on board with the reported hiring.
Robinson was an assistant coach on DeBoer’s New Jersey staff in 2011-12, the year the Devils went to the Stanley Cup Final.
“I enjoyed working with him,” Robinson told the San Jose Mercury News. “He’s a very detailed, smart hockey man. I think he’ll make a good choice.”
While the Devils didn’t score a ton of goals during DeBoer’s tenure in New Jersey, Robinson does not believe coaching was entirely to blame for that.
“He definitely stresses good defense,” he said, “but I think he allows players to be creative in the offensive zone.”
The Devils, of course, lost Ilya Kovalchuk (to Russia) and Zach Parise (to Minnesota) during DeBoer’s stint behind their bench. With the departure of those two went much of New Jersey’s offensive creativity and scoring ability. On top of that, by the time DeBoer was fired, the Devils were by far the oldest team in the NHL, struggling to keep up in a young man’s league.
The Sharks are expected to announce the hiring of DeBoer within the next 24 hours. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, it’s a four-year contract.
Update: The Sharks have called a press conference for tomorrow at 1 p.m. PT.