Associate coach Rocky Thompson will not be returning to the San Jose Sharks next year.
“Due to a medical exemption that prevents me from taking the COVID-19 vaccine, under the new League protocols, I am not permitted to fulfill my duties on the Sharks coaching staff at this time,” Thompson said in a press release. “I will have no further comment on this matter.”
High hopes accompanied Thompson’s arrival in San Jose last off-season. A hot coaching candidate after leading the Chicago Wolves to a 2019 Calder Cup Finals appearance and the Windsor Spitfires to the 2017 Memorial Cup, Thompson was charged with revitalizing the Sharks’ defense and power play.
Neither, however, happened, and the San Jose Sharks power play finished 29th in the league.
Obviously, these failures can’t all be laid at Thompson’s feet. Thompson has been known to push the tactical edge, and that was no different in San Jose, even if the results didn’t follow.
For example, the Sharks added more variety to how they tried to enter the zone on the power play.
Most recently, however, Thompson was in the news for all the wrong reasons. According to The Athletic, he and Evander Kane almost got into a fight at the end of the season over the winger’s positioning on the power play.
There’s no immediate word on Thompson’s replacement, but Bob Boughner will have less than three weeks to find him or her. The San Jose Sharks open training camp on Sept. 22.
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