Roy Sommer Announces His Intention To Retire Following The 2022-23 SeasonApr 15, 2023
The San Diego Gulls announced today that Roy Sommer, the head coach of the American Hockey League (AHL) club, intends to retire following the team’s final regular-season game tonight at the Colorado Eagles.
"After much thought and discussion with my family, I felt this is the right time to announce my retirement," Sommer said. "I started this career when I was six years old, and I have been in it ever since. I would like to thank the Anaheim Ducks, the San Diego Gulls, and all the fans for their support throughout the entire season."
Named to his position on July 12, 2022, Sommer, 66, enters his final game behind the bench with an 828-769-110 record and is the AHL’s all-time leader in wins (828) and games coached (1,813) after spending the last 27 consecutive seasons as a coach in the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks organizations. Sommer collected an 808-721-107 record with San Jose’s primary affiliates in Kentucky (1998-01), Cleveland (2001-06), Worcester (2006-15) and San Jose (2015-22). He helped guide the Barracuda to five Calder Cup Playoff appearances in seven seasons following the AHL Pacific Division’s creation in 2015.
"We want to congratulate Roy on an illustrious career as a head coach," Ducks Assistant General Manager and Gulls General Manager Rob Dimaio said. "In his short time with our organization, Roy made an important impact on the coaching staff, players and fans, and we wish him the best in retirement."
Throughout his coaching career, Sommer helped develop more than 150 players from the AHL to the NHL, including Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Dan Boyle, Mikka Kiprusoff, Evgeni Nabokov and Jonathan Cheechoo. In his current role with the Gulls, Sommer oversaw the development of young prospects who contributed in Anaheim this season, including goaltender Lukas Dostal, forward Benoit-Olivier Groulx and defenseman Drew Helleson.
Sommer was named the AHL Coach of the Year in 2016-17 (A.R. Pieri Memorial Award) after leading the Barracuda to a 43-16-9 record and an appearance in the Western Conference Final. As a head coach in the ECHL, Sommer compiled a 176-124-34 record in five seasons. He led the Richmond Renegades of the ECHL to a Kelly Cup Championship in 1995 and was named the ECHL Coach of the Year (John Brophy Award) in 1995-96 after leading the club to the top record (46-11-13) and a league record 105 points.
Sommer served as associate coach for the Sharks for part of the 2019-20 NHL season, before rejoining the Barracuda as head coach prior to 2020-21. He also was an assistant coach with the Sharks from 1996-98.
A native of Oakland, Calif., Sommer was selected by Toronto in the sixth round (101st overall) of the 1977 NHL Draft. He appeared in 741 professional games in the NHL, AHL, International Hockey League, Central Hockey League and West Coast Hockey League. He scored a goal in his NHL debut with Edmonton as a teammate of Wayne Gretzky in 1981. Sommer won a Calder Cup championship with the Maine Mariners in 1984 and helped lead Muskegon to an IHL Turner Cup championship in 1985-86. He also represented Team USA at the World Junior Championships in 1976-77.