Todd McLellan

‘I’m responsible for this group,’ says McLellan after Sharks first-round collapse


With the San Jose Sharks now eliminated from the playoffs, having coughed up a 3-0 series lead to the L.A. Kings in the first round, there is sure to be increasing speculation about the future of head coach Todd McLellan.

The collapse was finalized Wednesday. The Sharks lost to the Kings in the seventh and deciding game, as L.A. became the fourth team in National Hockey League history to come back from down three-games-to-none to win the series.

Before the post-season got underway, one our Pressing Question segments asked: Can the Sharks get over past playoff hurdles? Well, for 2014 at least, we have the most recent answer.

“I’m responsible for this group,” said McLellan after the decisive loss, as per Elliotte Friedman of CBC.

“Low point since I’ve been here … that’s an easy one to answer,” McLellan added, as per Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun.

His handling of the goalie situation – pulling Antti Niemi twice in the series, then starting Alex Stalock in Game 6 and going back to Niemi in Game 7 – will surely be criticized moving ahead in the coming days.

But the Sharks didn’t get much from their top players as this series continued:

  • Joe Thornton: Zero points in the final four games.
  • Patrick Marleau: Seven points in the first four games, but zero points in the final three.
  • Joe Pavelski: Six points in the first four games, but zero points in the final three.
  • Logan Couture: Zero points in the final five games.

“Their defence just swallowed us up … It’s just so disappointing right now,” said Thornton, as per Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.

The Sharks were without one of their steadiest defenseman in Marc-Edouard Vlasic for the final two games of the series, after he was injured in the first period of Game 5.

Twitter unveils plan to stream NHL games

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07:  In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced it's initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England. Twitter went public on the NYSE opening at USD 26 per share, valuing the company's worth at an estimated USD 18 billion.  (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Twitter will live stream for free one Major League Baseball game and one NHL game per week under a new deal.

The agreement announced Monday will allow viewers to watch games nationally that would normally be available only in the two teams’ home markets. Users will not need to be logged into Twitter to see the games.

The baseball games will also be available outside the U.S., with some exceptions. Twitter did not announce the game schedule Monday.

The social media network is attempting to move into live sports streaming through “over-the-top” broadcasts, which do not require a cable subscription. In April, Twitter reached a deal with the NFL to stream 10 “Thursday Night Football” games this fall.

Former Flyers goalie Heeter signs with Detroit’s AHL team

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The Red Wings added some goalie depth on Monday, agreeing to terms with journeyman Cal Heeter.

Heeter, 27, broke in with the Flyers organization a while back and made his big-league debut in ’13-14, appearing in one game.

Since then, he’s bounced around the ECHL, AHL (with the Toronto Marlies) and, last season, split his time between Hamburg of the German League and Zagreb Medvescak of the KHL.

By itself, this signing isn’t especially noteworthy, as Heeter projects to be an American League mainstay next year.

But the contract is kind of interesting when looking and the big-picture goalie situation in Detroit. The Wings now have Heeter, Petr Mrazek, Jimmy Howard, Jared Coreau, Eddie Pasquale and Jake Paterson all under contract for next season, which is an awful lot of goalies.

With that in mind, remember that Howard’s name has been in trade talks for quite some time.


Ex-NHLers Bellemore, Collins sign with KHL’s Chinese club

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HC Kunlun Red Star, the Beijing-based expansion team that will begin playing in the KHL next season, has added a pair of former NHLers.

Sean Collins, who appeared in a pair of games for the Capitals last season, and Brett Bellemore, a veteran of over 100 contests with the Carolina Hurricanes, have agreed to join the club, per Russian news outlet R-Sport.

Bellemore, 28, was originally drafted by the ‘Canes in 2007 and spent most of his professional career with the organization. He signed on with Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence last year, and appeared in 56 games.

Collins, 27, broke in with the Blue Jackets before signing with the Caps last season. He spent the majority of the year in AHL Hershey and fared well — 16 goals and 39 points in 75 games — and scored three times in the playoffs, helping the Bears advance to the Calder Cup final.


Report: Journeyman Santorelli signs in Swiss League

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 02:  Mike Santorelli #25 of the Anaheim Ducks looks on during a game against the Montreal Canadiens at Honda Center on March 2, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Veteran forward Mike Santorelli, who’s appeared in over 400 NHL contests over the last eight years, is headed overseas.

Per multiple reports (see here and here), Santorelli has signed with Geneve-Servette of the Swiss League. The 30-year-old spent last season with the Ducks, scoring nine goals and 18 points in 70 games but didn’t dress for any of the club’s opening-round playoff loss to Nashville.

Santorelli broke into the NHL with Nashville but enjoyed his best years with Florida and Vancouver. He was a former 20-goal scorer with the Panthers and enjoyed a successful stint with his hometown Canucks in ’13-14, scoring 28 points in 49 games before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

Santorelli is the second veteran forward to sign in the Swiss League recently. Over the weekend, fellow journeyman Kris Versteeg agreed to join SC Bern.