The San Jose Sharks have called a news conference for today to introduce Mighty Duck assistant Al Sims as the team’s new coach, sources said.
Sims, 43, beat out former Boston and St. Louis coach Brian Sutter for the job, even though he has no experience as an NHL head coach.
“You just look at his resume; he’s really well-prepared,” said Shark General Manager Dean Lombardi, who wouldn’t officially confirm Sims as the team’s choice. “We looked at this really thoroughly and we’re happy with the decision we’ve made.”
Sims finished second to Ron Wilson for the Duck job three years ago after coaching the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Komets to the International Hockey League championship.
“That was really disappointing, but I think I’ll be a much better coach now after three years in the NHL and three years in the division,” Sims said, citing his knowledge of current NHL players and experience dealing with star players.
“Everybody has seen what Florida has done with work ethic and discipline. I think the biggest things I bring to the table and brought to the game as a player are work ethic and discipline, and a team-first attitude.”
Duck assistant coach Tim Army will be promoted to No. 1 assistant, and Walt Kyle, coach of the team’s minor league affiliate, the Baltimore Bandits, is a strong candidate to fill the other position.
The Sharks won only 20 games last season, falling to last place in the Pacific Division after managing surprising playoff success the previous two seasons. Kevin Constantine, the team’s first coach, was fired after a 3-18-4 start and minor league coach Jim Wiley guided the team the rest of the season.