Joe Thornton hopes Sharks keep Todd McLellan around

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The San Jose Sharks have been labelled – sometimes fairly, sometimes not so much – as a team that “can’t get it done” in the playoffs. The difference with the 2011-12 campaign is that they weren’t particularly effective in the regular season, either. Even so, many pundits believe that the franchise would be foolish to part ways with head coach Todd McLellan.

Sharks captain Joe Thornton told CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz that he wants – and expects – McLellan to be back.

“He’s a great coach, and the guys love playing for him,” Thornton said. “Ultimately it’s up to [general manager Doug Wilson] and the ownership to make that call. As the captain, he’s a darn good coach.”

For the most part, the Sharks’ salary structure dictates that its current core will probably lead the way for at least the next season or through 2013-14. The instinct might be to blow everything up, but Thornton makes a good point about the deep and talented Western Conference.

“The parity is just so great,” Thornton said. “It sucks that we’re watching right now, but it’s tough to get in every year and go to the Western Conference finals. You kind of realize how hard it is to get there back-to-back years.”

“We had a lot of good teams in our conference this year, and the eight teams that made it in – number eight (Los Angeles) is still in it right now. It’s just so competitive.”

Thornton and many others would argue that McLellan gives them the best chance to remain competitive. Do you agree?