SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – The San Jose Sharks fired coach Darryl Sutter and assistants Lorne Molleken and Rich Preston on Sunday in a dramatic shakeup of a slumping team.
Doug Wilson, the Sharks’ director of pro development, and scout Cap Raeder will coach the team until a new head coach is named.
With San Jose off to a terrible 8-12-2-2 start, general manager Dean Lombardi decided to replace Sutter, who had led the Sharks to five consecutive seasons of improved point totals while helping to transform them from a laughingstock into a Stanley Cup contender.
San Jose became a consistent winner in Sutter’s tenure, but he couldn’t do anything this season with an underachieving club that’s been one of the NHL’s most surprising disappointments.
“Darryl was an integral part of the growth of this team the past five seasons,” Lombardi said. “This was not an easy decision to make.”
Following Saturday night’s 3-2 home loss to Phoenix, the Sharks are mired in last place in the Pacific Division, which they won last season.