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 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 236 226 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 248 201 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 232 208 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 229 189 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 242 222 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 231 201 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 230 210 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 241 216 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 220 205 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 261 260 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 219 227 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 228 232 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 198 283 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 170 272 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 37 33 12 70
L. Couture 82 27 40 -6 67
J. Thornton 78 16 49 -4 65
B. Burns 82 17 43 -9 60
P. Marleau 82 19 38 -17 57
T. Wingels 75 15 21 -7 36
T. Hertl 82 13 18 -5 31
M. Nieto 72 10 17 -12 27
M. Karlsson 53 13 11 -3 24
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 31 23 7 .914 2.59
A. Stalock 8 9 2 .902 2.62
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