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Roy Sommer gets tattoo to commemorate AHL wins record (Photos)

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Last February after San Jose Barracuda coach Roy Sommer won his 637th AHL game to set a league record he went out with several San Jose Sharks staffers.

The conversation between Sommer, team broadcaster Eric Lindquist, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson and others turned to tattoos and Sommer made some offhanded comment about getting one.

Wilson immediately handed $300 to Lindquist and told Sommer to get the body art.

“Every day since the playoffs have started I’ll run into Doug Wilson and he doesn’t ask me about anything else except, ‘Did you get that tattoo yet?’” Sommer joked.

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Sommer has been the Sharks’ AHL bench boss since 1998-99 when he started with the Kentucky Thoroughblades. Since then, the Oakland, Calif. native has taken his wife and three kids to Cleveland, Worcester and finally back home with the San Jose Barracuda. All teams were at one point affiliated with the Sharks.

Sommer has coached 120 players who have gone onto NHL careers. This includes 95 who have spent a portion of their time with the Sharks. He’s beloved around the organization and many with the team use the endearing hockey colloquialism “beauty” when describing Sommer.

When Sommer’s season ended he started to get serious about the tattoo – partially because of pressure from his boss. Wilson told Sommer that he’d start to fine the coach if he didn’t get the tattoo. So Sommer made an appointment for Tuesday at State of Grace tattoo parlor, where Sharks defenseman Brent Burns gets his body art.

Photo provided by Eric Lindquist

Sommer has a fear of needles, so he was terrified both before and during the time the tattoo was put on his right shoulder. 

"I used to get drilled and my teeth drilled with no Novocain in,” Sommer said. “He started the first two seconds, and I was going to say, that’s enough.”

Both Sommer and his wife came up with the design concept the morning before his appointment, and overall he’s happy with how it looked.

“She said ‘you should get the Shark biting the 637,” Sommer said.

On Thursday Sommer went to Boston to watch his son’s college graduation from Holy Cross. And he seemed to feel the tattoo connects him with the younger generation, even if his son believes otherwise.

“You have to keep up with them kids. There’s a couple of rappers I like. I listen K’naan, I’m not really into the rap stuff but sometimes you have to suck it up and see why they like it,” he said.  “My daughter thought it was cool and my son was like, 'really?'”



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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!




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