McLellan Shares Perspective Heading Into Camp

Tuesday, 08.12.2014 / 10:11 AM PT / News
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McLellan Shares Perspective Heading Into Camp
San Jose Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan discusses what\'s next for the team in a Q&A session with NHL.com.

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday during the regular season and every other Tuesday in the offseason.

The latest edition features San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan:

People are curious about what's going on in San Jose when Doug Wilson brings up the term rebuild. Can you explain the philosophy regarding what this offseason is about for the Sharks?

"We want to reset the hierarchy and culture in the organization, and that's really where the term rebuild came from. We feel we have a tremendous talent pool. We feel the players that are with our organization are part of the solution and not the problem now. As a staff, we talked about the ability to push and win as much as we can while we get younger, while we adjust the roles a little bit and give some of the younger players more responsibility. The term or the word used like that can be confusing at times. I think a lot of people, especially in the media, immediately went to, 'Well, they're going to trade Thornton and Marleau.' That's not the case. We believe that those two are part of the solution, not part of the problem. That got a lot of play media-wise. That's not what we were about. We think we have a very good hockey club and we think we need to tinker with a few things and continue to push forward."

You touched on this a bit, but can you see how it would get confusing when the term rebuild is tossed out there?

"Well, you know what, when I hear the term rebuild in the non-hockey world if you will, I think of something that gets torn down and you start rebuilding. I guess there's so many different terminologies that can be used for it. We have a plan. We know what we want to do. And we know who we want to be a part of it. As our team sits right now we'll probably head into training camp and continue working on what that plan is."

When you talk about the hierarchy and the leadership group and giving, I guess, more responsibility to players like Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, does that change anything with the captaincy? Is Thornton still going to be the captain of this team? Is Marleau still going to be an alternate captain? Or do you evolve everything around that?

"Those will be some decisions that we'll make as training camp approaches, as players get back into San Jose and settle in. We'll sit with them and talk about that situation. I think we talked about this at the draft, if there was a new rule that came into the League and there weren't any 'C's and 'A's, would there be a leadership group that took care of the team and would the followers step in and contribute when they needed to contribute? I believe so. So, with that in mind we'll see what we do as move forward."

With Dan Boyle and Brad Stuart gone, do you amp up your excitement level to see what Mirco Mueller can do for you on the blue line?

"For me, excitement isn't a good word; opportunity is. He'll get the same opportunity that Taylor Doherty and Matt Tennyson and some of the young players that have put their time in in the American [Hockey] League over the past three years to come in and earn an opportunity to play on our hockey club. Mirco obviously is a very talented young man. He's grown. He's gotten stronger and there should be some focus put on him, but I would like him to be included with a group of players coming into training camp that have that opportunity. That opportunity has been created through some moves, and when you talk about a rebuild, that can be part of the rebuild itself. But it's not just about Mirco; it's about the individual who comes in and seizes that opportunity. That could very well be him, but it could also be others."

I remember last summer talking to Randy Carlyle and Dave Nonis from the Toronto Maple Leafs about what happened to them in the playoffs against Boston and what you have to do to flush it out of your system. Obviously you guys went through something very difficult in the playoffs last season against the Kings. How do you flush that away? Can you flush that away? Or is it already gone?

"I don't think it's gone. I don't think it will leave. That's a very simple answer for me. I hear the players from a distance talking to different media outlets saying the same thing. I believe that's a good thing. There are a couple of different ways of looking at it. The defeat was and still is, it stings a lot. We have to look at what we did well and didn't do well in that series and also the fact they won three Game 7s on the road against very good teams. So they were the champs. There is absolutely no doubt about it. That could mean we have a group that is close but still has to figure out a way to close the deal."

Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Senior Writer

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 77 47 22 8 220 188 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 CHI 75 45 24 6 213 175 96
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 76 39 25 12 215 201 90
8 CGY 76 41 28 7 224 201 89
9 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 76 36 31 9 67
L. Couture 76 25 37 -4 62
J. Thornton 72 14 48 -5 62
B. Burns 76 16 40 -6 56
P. Marleau 76 17 36 -17 53
T. Wingels 69 15 20 -5 35
T. Hertl 76 12 17 -2 29
M. Nieto 66 8 16 -11 24
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
J. Braun 65 1 22 6 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 7 7 2 .905 2.55
A. Niemi 29 22 7 .914 2.62
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