A league-wide medical mandate that requires staff and players to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with no exemptions considered for approval, has barred San Jose Sharks' Associate Coach Rocky Thompson from coaching duties in the upcoming 2021-22 season. Thompson released a statement that he has a medical exemption that prevents him from taking the vaccine.
Thompson, who overseen the Sharks power play unit, was regarded as a rising coach with the potential to be the bench boss by ESPN. Thompson joined the Sharks coaching staff in 2020 after a head coaching career in the OHL and AHL. Thompson's most notable coaching accomplishments came in 2017 when he coached the Windsor Spitfires to a Memorial Cup championship in the OHL.