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DeBoer fired as Sharks coach

San Jose has lost five straight games; assistant Boughner will take over

by @NHLdotcom

Peter DeBoer was fired as coach of the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.

Bob Boughner will take over for DeBoer. He was an assistant under DeBoer with the Sharks from 2015-17 and returned to the staff this season after he was fired following two seasons as coach of the Florida Panthers.

"Sitting up here right now, mixed emotions," Boughner said Thursday. "Pete has a been a great mentor for me, a loyal friend, he's someone that I have a deep respect for. The same goes for the rest of the staff. Those are hard times and again it is mixed emotions because I also sit here and look at the flip side of that and I think of the unique opportunity; an opportunity to come in and give a fresh approach, a clean slate to a lot of the players, tinker and adjust and make some changes to our game to find that level that we need to be a more consistent team and a team that is hard to play against."

San Jose (15-16-2) has lost five games in a row (0-4-1), including 3-1 at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. They host the New York Rangers at SAP Center on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, MSG, NHL.TV).

"I think there is another level to our game, and I think that comes with the consistency," Boughner said. "I really believe this team has more. Let's look at it, we are five points out with 49 games to go. We have to pull our socks up and make some improvements and adjustments. More than anything, it's getting the guys to play as a team, to play together and make sure that consistency is there."

Along with DeBoer, the Sharks fired assistants Steve Spott and Dave Barr, as well as goaltending coach Johan Hedberg. They will be replaced by associate coach Roy Sommer, assistant Mike Ricci and goaltending coach Evgeni Nabokov.

"When we look at our team, basically have we played up to our expectations? No, we haven't," San Jose general manager Doug Wilson said. "Have we been inconsistent? Yes, we have. That's what we are looking for. It led us to making the decision of letting a very good staff go but also understanding at that point that we have to find a group of people that can bring the skillsets and ingredients that you need."

Video: Friedman discusses Sharks' firing DeBoer

DeBoer was hired as Sharks coach May 28, 2015, and in his first season, he guided them to the Stanley Cup Final, when they lost in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 51-year-old went 198-129-34 in five seasons with San Jose and qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs each season. He is 415-329-111 in 12 seasons with the Sharks, New Jersey Devils and Panthers. He guided New Jersey to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, when it lost in six games to the Los Angeles Kings.

"There comes a time as a GM when you have to make a decision," Wilson said. "It's not easy, it's not about the blame game, it's about finding solutions. The concern this year was we won the 11 of 13 in November then we unfortunately regressed. You could just see that something wasn't quite right. The energy level wasn't there and it led us to the point where we made this decision."

Boughner was 80-62-22 in two seasons as Panthers coach but did not reach the playoffs in either.

It is the fifth coaching change in the NHL this season. Jim Montgomery was fired by the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (replaced by Rick Bowness), John Hynes by the Devils on Dec. 3 (Alain Nasreddine), and Mike Babcock by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 20 (Sheldon Keefe). Bill Peters resigned as Calgary Flames coach Nov. 29 (Geoff Ward). independent correspondent Ross McKeon contributed to this report

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