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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 y - ANA 79 50 22 7 232 217 107
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 SJS 77 38 30 9 217 216 85
11 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
12 COL 77 35 30 12 207 218 82
13 EDM 77 23 41 13 186 260 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 77 36 32 11 68
L. Couture 77 26 38 -2 64
J. Thornton 73 14 48 -4 62
B. Burns 77 16 42 -4 58
P. Marleau 77 18 36 -16 54
T. Wingels 70 15 20 -4 35
T. Hertl 77 12 17 -1 29
M. Nieto 67 8 17 -10 25
M. Karlsson 48 13 10 -1 23
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 29 22 7 .914 2.62
A. Stalock 8 7 2 .907 2.47
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