SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - San Jose Sharks owner Hasso Plattner gave general manager Doug Wilson a vote of confidence Thursday with his team mired in 13th place in the Western Conference.
Plattner said the entire organization is disappointed in the performance so far but he believes Wilson can lead the team back to contention.
“Doug has a long history of leading our team to success,” Plattner said. “The last time we failed to meet our winning standards in the 2014-15 season, we were able to quickly rebound and re-establish a winning culture for the next several years. I am supportive of Doug’s plan to get our team back on track.”
The Sharks have missed the playoffs only once since Wilson took over as general manager in May 2003. The team made it fifth conference final last season under Wilson’s leadership and made the Stanley Cup Final in 2016 in the season after his only missed postseason.
The Sharks have been one of the league’s bigger disappointments this season with a 21-25-4 record. They are 11 points out of a playoff spot with 32 games to play.
San Jose ranks 28th out of 31 teams in goals per game with 2.56 as young players have failed to develop into legitimate threats in the NHL. The team also has the fifth-worst save percentage at .898 as starter Martin Jones struggled and has lost time to Aaron Dell.
Wilson fired coach Peter DeBoer last month and replaced him with interim coach Bob Boughner. The team has been unable to rebound since that change and could be looking to trade away some assets before next month’s trade deadline.
Defensemen Brenden Dillon and Tim Heed and forward Melker Karlsson are all eligible to become unrestricted free agents next summer and could be dealt for draft picks or prospects.
The Sharks also announced that Jonathan Becher has been named sole president of Sharks Sports & Entertainment, effective immediately. Becher will also serve as an alternate governor for the franchise with the NHL.
John Tortora, who has served as co-president with Becher since 2017, will be leaving the organization to pursue other opportunities but will remain in an advisory position to the organization until the end of June.
Wilson will continue to oversee the hockey operations department and continue to report directly to Plattner.
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