According to Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com, it’s “a virtual certainty” that head coach Todd McLellan will be back behind the bench next season in San Jose.
Kurz’s conclusion is “based on conversations with people in and around the Sharks organization.”
In support of the above, the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reports that GM Doug Wilson told McLellan “three days after the season ended that the Sharks’ bench boss was staying.”
Both Kurz and Friedman suggest the holdup in publicly endorsing McLellan could be related to the assistant coaching staff – specifically, who will be part of it.
The Sharks are expected to philosophically alter the way they approach the penalty kill, and also who handles that unit, which finished 29th in the NHL this season and was just 12-for-18 in the playoffs. [Jay] Woodcroft oversaw the PK this season, but he could get reassigned to other duties within the organization.
When ownership gave Wilson a vote of confidence on May 2, part of the statement posted on the team’s website read, “The ownership group has confidence that Doug will make the necessary changes to ensure our club remains among the NHL’s elite franchises.”
In other words, doing nothing isn’t an option for Wilson. Though for now it doesn’t appear change will be coming in the head-coaching department.