The cliche goes “you always can go home again.” No no no. Jeff Norton isn’t returning for a fourth time. Rob Zettler returns to San Jose for a third time. This will be his second stint in Teal Town as assistant coach. He was an assistant coach with the Sharks from 2002-2008, as well as an original member of the Sharks, playing defense from 1991-1994. Zettler replaces Bob Boughner, who accepted an offer to become the head coach of the Florida Panthers.
Per a conference call on Monday, San Jose Sharks General Manager, Doug Wilson stated:
“My relationship with Rob goes back to the Sharks first season in 1991, when he was one of our standout young players, and of course, as one of our assistant coaches during some very successful years for our franchise… His familiarity with our organization, many of our players and our area cannot be overstated. He and his family have made their permanent home in San Jose and we’re thrilled to welcome Rob back to the Sharks organization.”
Zettler was an assistant coach along with Tim Hunter when Ron Wilson coached San Jose to two division championships including the team’s first trip to the Western Conference Final in 2004.
After leaving San Jose in 2008, he followed Wilson to Toronto to be an assistant coach for the Maple Leafs from 2008-2012. He then became an assistant coach for the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch in the summer of 2012. Later that season, he was named head coach of the club and took Syracuse to the Calder Cup Finals, losing both series to the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2013 and 2017.