It certainly won’t solve all of the team’s problems, this news that Todd McLellan will no longer coach the San Jose Sharks. But something had to change, and when the internet exploded with news that the former head coach was to “mutually part ways” with San Jose, it wasn’t too big of a shock. It wasn’t even a surprise to McLellan himself, who said he was part of the discussion to forfeit the final year of his coaching contract and move on.
“I participated in the decision, I definitely did,” he said in his final conference call with the local brass on Monday morning.
It became more apparent as the now former Sharks coach fielded questions: While he admitted that it was an “emotional day” and that he retains fond memories of coaching in San Jose, it made sense to walk away now for one specific reason.
“This team is clearly in a rebuild … I felt it was time.”
That route won’t just be paved without McLellan, but the rest of the coaching staff as well. Assistant coaches Jim Johnson and Jay Woodcroft, and video coordinator Brett Heimlich, have been “relieved of their duties” per the Sharks’ Monday morning press release.
“Obviously today is an emotional day for not only me, but the staff that also participated in what happened,” McLellan said as he started the call with a long list of people to thank. “Most importantly, the fans in San Jose. They made my stay, my family’s stay here very special, and they are a big part of almost a decade here so I need to thank them as well.”
McLellan’s name had already been linked to coaching positions in Toronto and Philadelphia, just to name a couple. There’s no doubt that he will have no trouble finding a new home, or a new bench to stand behind.
“Where I go from here, I guess I somewhat control,” he said. However, it would be a shock if he had a new gig before he leaves later this week to coach Team Canada in the World Championships.
There didn’t appear from his final statements to be any kind of ill will between him and his former employer, although McLellan was adamant about not answering any further questions about the current Sharks roster as if he still had a coach’s say.
“The repair work is between the guys still in the room,” he insisted.