Vice President and Assistant General Manager
Wayne Thomas recently completed his 14th season as assistant general manager and his ninth as vice president, providing Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson with an experienced, versatile and valuable assistant.
Thomas, 62, is well versed in all aspects of the National Hockey League, garnering experience from his 40 years of being a player, head coach, assistant coach, advance scout and executive. Before his promotion in March 1996, he was in his third season as Sharks assistant coach and assistant to the general manager.
An Ottawa, Ontario native, Thomas is intimately involved with all aspects of the Sharks on- and off-ice operations, including evaluating players on the Sharks reserve list with special emphasis on goaltenders, scouting other NHL teams and taking an active role in contract negotiations and player personnel matters.
In addition, Thomas serves as the general manager of the American Hockey League's Worcester Sharks (the organization’s top development affiliate) and also supervises the relationship between the organization and its other player development teams, including the ECHL's Stockton Thunder. Last season, with one of the youngest teams in the AHL, Worcester finished as Atlantic Division Champions and second in the overall in the Eastern Conference, advancing to the AHL Eastern Conference Semifinals.
For the past seven seasons, Thomas has also taken on a more advanced, day-to-day role in working with the Sharks goaltenders on-and-off the ice. He also oversees the work of Goaltending Development Coach Corey Schwab, who handles goaltending coaching duties for Sharks prospects in Worcester, Stockton and other amateur leagues.
Thomas serves an important role as a liaison between the coaches, training staff and the hockey department, facilitates the interaction of hockey department personnel within the organization, coordinates the construction of the NHL pre- and regular season schedules, assists the efforts of the Sharks scouting staff and coordinates a variety of front office administrative matters.
Under Thomas' direct supervision and following the franchise's goal of developing players from within, the Sharks AHL affiliate system has produced a number of key players on the Sharks current roster which were acquired through the NHL Entry Draft including Ryane Clowe, Logan Couture, Jason Demers, Thomas Greiss, Jamie McGinn, Douglas Murray Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchi.
In his role as Sharks assistant coach from 1993-96, Thomas assisted with game strategy, advance scouting of opponents and performed individual work with the Sharks goaltenders. In addition, he collaborated with the general manager on a year-round basis regarding administrative matters.
Thomas joined the Sharks coaching and management staff for the 1993-94 season after spending three seasons (1990-93) as an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues. Thomas also served in that capacity with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1987-88 and was head coach at Peoria (International Hockey League) from 1988-90 and at Salt Lake City from 1985-87. His 1985-86 squad captured the IHL's Turner Cup Championship.
A former NHL goaltender, his playing career consisted of 243 games over nine seasons, including stints with Montreal, Toronto and the New York Rangers. Thomas was a member of the Canadiens 1972-73 Stanley Cup Championship squad. Additional career highlights included being selected to and getting the win at the 1976 NHL All-Star Game as a member of the Maple Leafs, posting 10 career shutouts — including one in his first NHL start — and a lifetime goals-against average of 3.34. After his retirement in 1981, Thomas spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Rangers.
Thomas has a bachelor's degree in physical education from the University of Wisconsin, where he played three years of hockey from 1967-70.