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Sharks owner ‘very disappointed,’ but McLellan’s job is safe

May 14, 2014, 6:19 PM EDT

Todd McLellan, Joe Thornton, Tomas Hertl, Brent Burns AP

You can all but cross Todd McLellan’s name off the list of available coaching candidates.

The Sharks bench boss, who’s job security has been in question since San Jose blew a 3-0 series lead against Los Angeles in Round 1, sounds as though he’ll be retained for next season — courtesy a statement released today by club owner Hasso Plattner.

It reads:

“I am very disappointed in the way our team finished the 2013-14 season. Gaining a 3-0 series advantage and being unable to advance is a major blow to our organization and fan base. Our teams have been consistently built to go deep into the playoffs and this goal won’t change.

“Doug Wilson and I have met over the past two weeks. He has shared his support of the coaching staff, as well as his recommended changes to our team’s roster, and he has my complete support moving forward.

“I want to thank our extremely loyal fans and partners for their continued support and to let them know that we are not satisfied with the status quo of the last several seasons.

“I am confident that with the proposed changes, Doug and his staff will build a team we can all be proud of.”

The Sharks have been largely quiet for the last two weeks regarding the future of the organization. The last public statements came from Wilson on May 2, when he said the team had several options moving forward, but noted “the status quo isn’t one of them.” Also, as Plattner alluded to, Wilson said McLellan and his assistants — Larry Robinson, Jim Johnson and Jay Woodcroft — shouldn’t lose their jobs over the L.A. collapse.

According to CSN Bay Area, it’s believed McLellan has two years remaining on his contract. Given teams were reportedly waiting to see if he’d be fired before making their own hires — the McLellan watch was rumored to be on in Vancouver — San Jose might’ve preached patience with a guy regarded to be one of the NHL’s better bench bosses.

What the Sharks do now remains to be seen, as it’s clear roster changes are coming. The biggest decisions will likely be the future of Dan Boyle, who’s a UFA on July 1, and how the team opts to deal with Antti Niemi, who was parked in Game 6 of the Kings series in favor of Alex Stalock before returning in Game 7 to allow three goals on 28 shots in a 5-1 loss.

The club could also use a compliance buyout on Martin Havlat, and possibly explore trade options — though it’s worth noting Havlat, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Brent Burns, Raffi Torres, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brad Stuart all have some form of no-trade or no-movement clause.


Poll: Should the Sharks fire McLellan?

Oddsmaker: Trotz, McLellan favored as next Canucks coach

  1. pirovash88 - May 14, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    Gotta say i’m quite surprised to hear this. Expect big roster changes if the Coaching staff is going to stick around.

    • bwayblueshirt - May 14, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      No need for huge changes. A great goaltender would’ve punched their ticket to round two and beyond. Expect them to make some tweaks and go after Jonas Hiller, maybe Jaro Halak.

  2. sanjosecupcrazy - May 14, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    As a season ticket holder for 15 years (since my senior year of college), count me in the minority of Sharks fans who feel Plattner, Wilson and McClellan have nothing to apologize to me for. Our team competes year in and year out, is closer than most people give it credit for and has built an organization where players want to come and stay. Beyond that, it’s one of the best fan experiences I’ve ever witnessed live. We’ve made the playoffs every year since 2004 and missed once since the late-90s.

    Tinker — Niemi, Havlat, Boyle out, take those cap dollars and improve. Bring up Mirco Mueller and take another crack at it.


    • sjshark714 - May 14, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      I agree with you on most of that. Doug has done his job. He made this team grittier when it needed grit. He made it faster when it had slowed down. And he’s done that while allowing our top prospects to develop into the future of the organization. Plattner is just the $… which has always been there… so he shares no blame. I agree with your tinker moves, and I agree that Mueller should be in the gym or on the ice 24/7 this summer because this is his shot to be a Shark. But we can’t let everyone else stay. Those tinker moves are too obvious to us, the front office, the league, our players, and probably even the players we’re talking about moving. You have to move someone else to make everyone aware that they aren’t untouchable. The person to go is Joe Thornton. Marleau lead this team further than Joe ever has in 2004 with a team that was pretty weak in comparison to some of the ridiculously talented teams we’ve had during Joe’s tenure. He can’t get it done. It’s time for Pickles, Couture, and Pavelski to lead this team. Young teams with fiery young leadership win Cups these days… that’s what we need. Also, i’m not sure i’d be ok with letting whoever was in charge of the PP stay. Who’s that… woodcroft? I’d boot him.

      • sanjosecupcrazy - May 14, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        I think we’re both on the same page. If Thornton is willing to waive his NTC, I’d move him IF we could get something of real value in return for him.

        I think what has worried me over the last two weeks is the cry for blood from this organization, when “blowing it up” moves us back a huge step. Our young guys are only getting better. I’d rather make sound, rational moves than go in with a wrecking ball and dynamite.

        If they trade Thornton with their first rounder, could they move up high enough to get an NHL-ready player out of this year’s draft? That’d be interesting….. It would also give us another $6+ million in cap money to throw around.

    • pirovash88 - May 15, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      For claiming to be as old as you are, you’re a real douche bag. Just thought you should know.

      And if you’re a real fan, where were you after the Kings whooped the Sharks asses in Game 6 and 7. A true fan shows their face regardless of what happens.

      • sanjosecupcrazy - May 16, 2014 at 4:51 AM

        You talking to me, slappy?

    • fpstratton - May 15, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      You know, I wish more fans and media in the NHL had your attitude. Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times was ready to throw half the Kings team under the bus when the Sharks were up 3 games to zero on them. Knee-jerk reactions are usually bad. The Sharks are an outstanding hockey team. They had a bad week, and unfortunately, it came at the worst time of the year for them, but they were minus Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who apparently is much more important to the team than anyone would have thought. The Kings couldn’t have beaten the Sharks if their best defenseman, Drew Doughty wasn’t playing. Thumbs up to your allegiance.

      From a Kings fan.

      • sanjosecupcrazy - May 16, 2014 at 4:54 AM

        Much appreciated. The Kings simply found their game. We played great in Games 1 & 2, but it didn’t hurt that the Kings weren’t themselves. It was a simple role reversal in the last three games of the series.

  3. canucks30 - May 14, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    • faulkingallstar - May 15, 2014 at 12:50 AM

      And good luck your canucks and your 5 year rebuild =)

      • canucks30 - May 15, 2014 at 1:44 AM

        I think 5 years is fairly generous. The Canucks are quite a ways off from Anaheim, LA, and San Jose.

        The Canucks typically take 15-20 years between Stanley Cup runs.

  4. sharksman - May 14, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    sounds like they have a plan and that player changes are coming
    at least there is a plan , right ? lol

  5. bcsteele - May 14, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    I think the GM should be held more responsible. It sounds like major roster changes are coming but just as the article alluded to, who are you gonna move if the majority of the older slower players that you’d like to move have no movement or no trade clauses?

    I would call that poor planning…which is on the GM…not the coach. I think SJ has one of the best coaches in the league and I’m glad to hear it appears he’ll be back.

  6. canucks30 - May 14, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

    • imleftcoast - May 14, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      The above quote has been mis-attributed to Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Mark Twain. In fact, none of these great minds were responsible for such a convincing, yet blatantly incorrect definition. The first time it actually appeared in print was in a 1981 Narcotics Anonymous text.

    • sanjosecupcrazy - May 14, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      Insanity: Hiring John Tortarella, banking on the Sedin Sisters, Ryan Kessler and Luongo, and lighting your town on fire year after year.

      Vancouver: Shut up. Collectively. Your knife cuts no meat here.

      • canucks30 - May 14, 2014 at 7:12 PM

        You spelled Tortorella and Kesler incorrectly.

      • sanjosecupcrazy - May 14, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        That’s because I didn’t care to spell them correctly. They’re both a couple of douchebags, but that fits in with your fan base.

        If there’s an organization that needs to blow it all up and start over, it’s the Cannots.

      • canucks30 - May 14, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        I agree that the Canucks need to move out their core players.

        I disagree with your prejudiced, biased, stereotyped, view regarding Canucks fans. Although, considering you’re a misogynist, I shouldn’t be surprised. Are you a racist too?

      • sanjosecupcrazy - May 14, 2014 at 9:43 PM

        Haha, I’m a mysoginist for using one of the oldest broad terms in sports when someone plays like a sissy, huh? Yes, I must hate women. And you take that line to possible racism? Great logic. Won’t even dignify any of that with a response.

        Regarding Canucklehead fans: About 2,000 of you showed up down here for the playoffs a couple of years ago and acted like a bunch of douchebags. I’ve seen four fights in 15 years at the Tank other than those games, I saw six that weekend and they were all caused by Vancouver fans out on the concourse during the intermissions and after the game challenging our fans to fights. We’ve had plenty of playoff series there over the years and I’ve only seen one other incident. Your fans were incorrigible. Didn’t surprise me to see that they lit your town on fire a couple of weeks later.

        Regular season games aren’t much different. They come down here and act like idiots. Reminds me of the local Raider fans. Haven’t had a problem with any other team’s fans but yours. Funny thing is that I know a umber of people who have season tickets in other towns, including Chicago, LA and Detroit, and they all say the same thing. The Canadians who I talk to for work in Edmonton and Toronto can’t stand you guys.

        When it all comes down to it, no one likes the Canucks or their fans….. except the Canucks and their fans.

      • blomfeld - May 14, 2014 at 10:27 PM

        sanjosecupcrazy – what you say friend is very true … I’ve lived here in Vancouver for most of my life and so I can attest that what you’re saying is ‘unfortunately’ fact …

  7. sjsharksfan11 - May 14, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    Yeah let’s just keep what’s failed every year. The pitiful PP is coached by the moronic Woodcroft who has never played an NHL game in his life yet he has the support to come back and coach. That tells you all you need to know. Expect the same results in the future. I vow to not drink the kool-aid with teal colored glasses on.

    • sharksman - May 14, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      I have always felt woodcraft should be gone
      they are going to have to do some sort of shakeup on the roster
      weather its patty or joe I feel like one of them will be traded somehow
      because that is the “core” otherwise you are just moving players around
      how many times have they broken up the pieces ?
      remember when Heatley was going to be the solution
      no more Clowe
      no more seto
      they have changed the pieces quite a few times , so its time to change the one’s that have been here all along

  8. hockeyflow33 - May 14, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Why try and rebuild a team that doesn’t need rebuilding?

    The core of the team is very, very good. Add a great goalie, (maybe make a run at Miller), and the team is completely different.

  9. sharksfan754 - May 14, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    It’s the right move. On an unrelated note I wouldn’t be surprised if the sharks pursue Miller or Hiller as a goalie option

  10. gbart22 - May 14, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    Omg a rational owner! Amazing.

  11. sjsharks66 - May 14, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    GREAT!……. Bad call. He needs to be fired, along with Wood.

    • broadstreetsbaddest88 - May 14, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      The sharks should switch coaches with your underachieving sisters of the east. Bylsma for McClellan, two underachieving teams with underachieving coaches. Although McClellan is a better coach an I think it has more to do with Thornton an Marleau being the underachievers here

  12. sanjosecupcrazy - May 14, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    Hey Philly fan: How’d your season turn out? Oh right…. Out in the first round. And don’t talk to me about championships: I’m 40 now and was a year old when you won your last one. Someone besides my parents have to remember your team winning a championship for it to actually count….. And there had to be more than 12 teams in the league at the time. 😉

  13. pjd91360 - May 14, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    I expect the C to be handed off to another player. I like Marleau.but we need someone else who can lead the team better on the ice. Oh, and JT isn’t worthy either.

  14. nightfireop - May 14, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    the sharks were great this year, i hope nothing changes.

  15. toewsingkaner - May 14, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    Another underachieving season is apparently good enough for the Sharks. Not much changes.

  16. faulkingallstar - May 15, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Why are their so many dislikes for people saying to trade jumbo or patty. I think the sharks need to trade jumbo, niemi and possibly burns. Thornton was nowheres to be found in the final 4 games and has crumbled under pressure for the past 10 years. The sharks have tried changing other “key” guys before ex. Seto, Cheechoo, Heatley, all traded away and the results never changed. Its time to recognize whos fault these failures year in and year out and the same big guys don’t show up, their has to be consequences for those individuals instead of those around them being punished. we also need to replace Boyle with Mueller, and get rid of Stuart and Hannan, they were all pretty bad in the series. Hopefully changing up the leadership on this team will change the choking mentality that Thornton and co. have created in Sj, before the choking curse consumes the youngers guys aswell if it hasen’t alredy.

    • canucks30 - May 15, 2014 at 1:49 AM

      It’s not that it’s a bad idea, but trading Thornton and Marleau is easier said than done when they are 34 years old with giant cap hits and no trade clauses.

      It’s the same problem the Canucks have with guys like Burrows, Edler, and Kesler.

      • faulkingallstar - May 15, 2014 at 11:44 PM

        Except Marleau and Thornton are actually productive. Last time I checked Kesler finished with like 40 pts and burrows finished with what, 2 goals?

  17. gohawks7 - May 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    The Sharks will never get over the hump as long as WIlson is GM. He is the elephant in the room. All these years….if you can’t figure out what the problem is….then YOU’RE the problem.

    Wilson was never much of a playoff performer himself….and he lacked the guts, heart, and balls it takes to play playoff hockey. He can’t see that quality in the players he signs because he doesn’t have it himself.

    He’s a great GM at building a team for the regular season…but the playoffs are a whole different animal.

  18. johnmr12 - May 15, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    If the sharks could go back to game 4 and start over, they would win the series against my kings. It was a learning experience. It wont happen again. Now consider how good your team has to be to win 3 straight against the Kings to begin with, and look at the battle the kings are giving the ducks, who had the best record in the tough western conference. Management would be absolute fools to start over with new coaches and players. tweak the defense and give the goalie job to Stalock and you guys will be a cup contender again next year.

    • fpstratton - May 15, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      Agreed on all counts. If Marc-Edouard Vlasic is healthy, the Sharks probably win the series against the Kings. No reason to blow up the team. Recent case in point: 2010: The Bruins blow a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers and are eliminated. 2011: Boston Bruins–Stanley Cup Champions.

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