The San Jose Sharks have mutually agreed to part ways with head coach Todd McLellan. For the last few season the Sharks have underperformed. Was this McLellan’s fault? Looking over each season, the Sharks were ousted in the playoffs by another team that was considered a Stanley Cup contender. With the exception of missing the playoffs this season the San Jose Sharks always had strong regular seasons.
The San Jose Sharks agreeing to head coach Todd McLellan walking away is the result of a franchise that has grown desperate. When a team does not meet expectations there are normally two factors to look at: is the problem coaching or construction (of the roster)?
General Manager Doug Wilson has very few options with tweeks he can make to one of the most talented rosters in the league. Most of the players that would bring the most back in a trade are not willing to go anywhere else and have the no movement clauses in their contracts to stay where they want. The only option left with the exception of a burn it all down and start over rebuild is to try a change at the coaching position. It’s possible that another coach could do something with this team.
As much talent as the Sharks have they should not be sitting on the outside of the playoffs. This is a problem with the guys in the locker room. Looking at both the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets one sees teams with less talent than the San Jose Sharks but with more pride and work ethic. If the Sharks had the fight in them that both the Flames and Jets do not only would the Sharks be in the playoffs but considered a Stanley Cup contender again. The blame for McLellan not working out in San Jose are the guys who sit on the bench, not the man who sits behind it.
Don’t shed a tear for McLellan though. There are already a handful of teams that may offer him a job. The list starts with Philadelphia and Edmonton. He may even be the favorite to take over the Red Wings if Mike Babcock is lured away by another team. In this move, McLellan is the winner as he is the one with choices and opportunity. The Sharks are stuck trying to land one of the few coaches better then, if any are available, Todd McClellan.