SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) General Manager Doug Wilson and Head Coach Peter DeBoer announced today that Rob Zettler (@robzettler) has been named an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks. Zettler replaces Bob Boughner, who became head coach of the Florida Panthers.
On DeBoer's staff, Zettler joins Assistant Coach Steve Spott, Assistant Coach/Goaltending Coach Johan Hedberg and Video Coach Dan Darrow.
"Rob has extensive experience working as a coach at the NHL level and developing prospects as a head coach in the AHL," said DeBoer. "As we researched candidates during this process, reputable people that I spoke with kept coming back to me with the same words: communicator, teacher, and professional. We think he will be a tremendous asset to our staff."
"My relationship with Rob goes back to the Sharks first season in 1991, when he was one of our standout young players, and of course, as one of our assistant coaches during some very successful years for our franchise," said Wilson. "His familiarity with our organization, many of our players and our area cannot be overstated. He and his family have made their permanent home in San Jose and we're thrilled to welcome Rob back to the Sharks organization."
"It is both an exciting challenge and a privilege to come back to an organization that I have so much passion for, and I am happy to get my family back home to San Jose," said Zettler. "I want to thank Pete, Doug and his staff for their time during the hiring process and for this opportunity. Ultimately, I want to win, and I look forward to working together and building on the success this staff has had."
Zettler is well-versed with the Sharks organization, formerly serving as an assistant coach under Head Coach Ron Wilson from 2002 through 2008. During that span, the Sharks posted a 206-134-45 record and a .535 winning percentage, captured two Pacific Division Championships (2004, 2008) and a berth in the Western Conference Final in 2004.
In addition, Zettler became an "original Shark" when he was claimed by the expansion San Jose Sharks from the Minnesota North Stars in the 1991 Dispersal Draft, becoming one of the first two players in team history (Neil Wilkinson). Originally drafted 55th overall in the 1986 NHL Draft by Minnesota, Zettler played 196 games in three seasons (1991-94) with the Sharks, recording 19 points (one goal, 18 assists). In 569 NHL games with Minnesota, San Jose, Philadelphia, Toronto, Nashville and Washington, Zettler posted 70 points (five goals, 65 assists).
Zettler also served as an assistant coach under Head Coach Ron Wilson with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2008 through 2012.
Most recently, Zettler served as the head coach of the Syracuse Crunch in the American Hockey League. Hired in July 2012 by the Tampa Bay Lightning to be an assistant coach with Syracuse, Zettler was named the head coach of the Crunch on March 25, 2013, following the promotion of Jon Cooper to be Tampa Bay's head coach. That season, Zettler coached Syracuse for the final 11 regular season games and led the team to an AHL Eastern Conference Championship and its first appearance in a Calder Cup Final, before falling in six games to the Grand Rapids Griffins. In three-plus seasons behind the Syracuse bench, Zettler posted a 108-90-41 record.