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Sims Hopes to Add Heat to Rivalry With Ducks

June 07, 1996|ROBYN NORWOOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Al Sims switched sides in one of the Mighty Ducks' most intense rivalries Thursday when he was named coach of the San Jose Sharks.

Sims, 43, was a Duck assistant coach during the team's first three seasons. After an 0-6 start against the Sharks, the Ducks have evened the series at 8-8, but the rivalry ranks second only to their rivalry against the Kings.

"Coaching against the Ducks will be really intense and fun at the same time," Sims said. "I'll want to do well to show people I'm really a good coach, but I'm sure Ron [Wilson] and [assistant coach Tim Army] will be giving me looks from the bench and we'll laugh about it afterward."

Sims, who played 10 years in the NHL as a defenseman for Boston, Hartford and the Kings, finished second to Wilson for the Anaheim job in 1993 after guiding the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Komets to the International Hockey League title. "It's been my dream since I retired to become a head coach," Sims said.

After surprising success in the playoffs the last two seasons, the Sharks won only 20 games this season, falling to last in the Pacific Division. Kevin Constantine was fired after a 3-18-4 start and minor league coach Jim Wiley guided the team the rest of the season. Sims becomes the team's fourth coach in six seasons.

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