Thursday, June 12, 2008

McLellan takes over Sharks

Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson had said little during his search for a new coach, but he let it be known he was looking for someone with the intensity and smarts of Detroit's Mike Babcock.

Today, the Sharks picked one of Babcock's assistants, Todd McLellan, to be their next bench boss. McLellan, getting his first shot as an NHL head coach after successful stints at every other level of the game, will be formally introduced at a news conference Thursday.
I'll be 100 per cent honest — when someone in the Globe Sports office mentioned, months back, that one of the leading coaching candidates for Team X was Todd McLellan, I asked "who?"

He may have been the assistant coach on the Stanley Cup champions, but McLellan isn't exactly someone who is a well-known entity in the NHL. I personally only remember him from way back during his days behind the bench in Swift Current of the WHL, back when he was one of the only 20-something bench bosses coaching at any level of competitive hockey.

He won the WHL coach of the year award in 2000 at age 33, went through the AHL system for years, and seven years later gets his first shot at an NHL gig with one of the best teams in the league.

Not a bad evolution.

McLellan's teams have won at every level, he's a young guy, and he had a lot of success in running things like the Red Wings power play the past few years.

An interesting choice for a team on the cusp, but I'll pat anyone on the back for going outside of the box. Doug Wilson and the Sharks very well could have hit a home run here.

And this isn't a bad photo to have of the new hire.

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At 11:16 a.m., June 13, 2008, Anonymous Citizen Cane said...

Fantastic hire. They need a new voice behind the bench. I'm going out on a limb. He'll deliver.


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