So, aside from a vacancy on the lower lines, the question Sharks fans were asking about the 2011-12 Sharks was: who will replace Trent Yawney as the Assistant Coach in charge of defense? Sorry I’m slow to jump on this but I was busy contemplating head injuries.
We have our answer:
*Matt Shaw will take over Yawney’s role as the assistant working with the defensemen.
*Woodcroft will work more closely with the forwards, concentrating on line match-ups during each game. He will be behind the bench full-time rather than concentrating on video work as he has been to this point.
*Staff assistant Brett Heimlich will have an expanded role in the video department and be given other coaching opportunities.” –Working the Corners
So Brodie Brazil was wrong when he tweeted: “Regarding #sjsharks coaching vacancy, my gut says Jay Woodcroft is the likely/best candidate. D. Wilson told me it’s McLellan’s decision.” He was also kind of right. McLellan did opt to give Woodcroft more responsibility, just not on defense.
I find that kind of interesting. From fans there was a… distinct lack of disappointment when Yawney announced he was leaving. Evidently we blamed him for the team’s defensive ills. Of course he could not take all the responsibility or blame for the big fails that we saw on the ice. He especially couldn’t be blamed, exclusively, since, at least in name, Woodcroft was there too. Woodcroft’s title said “Video Coach,” but he was also said to be assisting Yawney with defense.
By not putting Woodcroft in charge of defense, McLellan completed the defense coaching purge without actually getting rid of anyone else or adding anyone new. I hope it works out.