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Sharks officially name Pete DeBoer new head coach

Geoff Burke / USA TODAY Sports

It's official: Pete DeBoer is moving to California.

The San Jose Sharks officially announced the hiring of their new head coach Thursday afternoon.

“Peter is a well-respected leader who possesses all of the characteristics we were looking for in our next head coach,” general manager Doug Wilson expressed in a statement. “He's an extremely intelligent and innovative individual who likes to play an aggressive system. Peter has a track record of extracting the most out of his players and is willing to make tough decisions that are based on achieving team success.

"We're extremely excited to have him leading our group"

“It's an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to coach the San Jose Sharks,” DeBoer added. “The Sharks have one of the most energetic buildings in the NHL and I am looking forward to the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and get to work with this group."

The group now under his charge is one that failed to make the playoffs this past season, seemingly rattled by an epic series loss to the Los Angeles Kings after being up 3-0 in the opening round last spring.

At the press conference held by the Sharks to make the hiring official, DeBoer said he expects a bounce-back year in San Jose, and that he will enter the room with a fresh perspective in terms of the captain of the team, an issue that proved to be quite contentious last summer when Joe Thornton was stripped of the honor.

"What I have going for me, is that I'm fresh to this group," he stated.

"The expectation is to win right now. I don't think that anyone's looking for anything less than that here."

DeBoer brings 458 regular season games of NHL coaching experience to San Jose, most recently as head coach of the New Jersey Devils and previously with the Florida Panthers.

His most successful coaching season came with the Devils in 2011-12, when he led the club to 102 regular season points and an Eastern Conference championship, ultimately losing to the Kings in the Stanley Cup Final.

That was his first season in New Jersey, and DeBoer said he sees similarities between that group and his new team.

Prior to 2014-15, the Sharks had qualified for the playoffs in each of the past 10 seasons.

DeBoer becomes the eighth coach in franchise history. 2015-16 will mark his 21st consecutive season behind the bench, combining his years of NHL experience with his years of service in the OHL.

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