(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)
SAN JOSE- Sharks head coach Todd McLellan summed up the final media access session well when he said: “The answers you guys are looking for today, I’m not going to be able to give them you. I need a little more time, I’m sure the organization needs a little bit more time.”
News of changes to the Sharks will have to wait a little longer. End of season reviews will be done on a schedule much like the schedules of seasons past. Why the media had to wait for several days after the last game is unclear, especially as the end of the season was known in advance, a situation the franchise has not been in for a decade.
The media had a chance to talk to several players and Doug Wilson as well as Todd McLellan. Since the head coach is the name most likely to change when a team takes a nose dive, he is the best starting point for the year end review. Asked whether his message was getting through to the room, McLellan said:
That’s a question that I have to ask myself and that’s a question that the players will have to answer, and management. The messaging is organizational-wide. I have to make sure that I have support throughout the whole organization and that everybody believes in the message and not just the players. I feel very good about coming into the locker room and addressing the group and moving forward. Do we have to do things better? Without a doubt, we’re a staff that has to review everything like we do every year, we have to look at where the game is going and look at some changes and make a difference there. That’s the responsibility that we take on.
McLellan did say that he thinks the team will have news before the start of the IIHF World Championships begin, where he will be coaching Team Canada. He was asked why he decided to take the job of Team Canada coach. He said:
I think it’s a great opportunity. I think when your country calls you, you answer. that sounds a little bit militaristic but it isn’t. It’s really good people that are involved in it. I’ve known Jim Nill now for many many years and I respect he and his staff immensely. I think it’s a great opportunity for growth for me individually, to interact with other high end coaches, to get to know some young players in the league, to spend time with my family, if they make the trip over there, in another country. There’s so many positives about it. On a year that didn’t end real well for our team maybe we can make something of it over there and end on a positive.
If I had to guess what McLellan is thinking about his future, I would focus on his use of “our team” to refer to the Sharks, but I would also pay attention to those positives he listed above. He is cognizant of his options elsewhere, but
For me, this is home. This is, this is home. This is where the kids, this is where their roots are and this is where they come home to. So there’s a strong tie to the people in San Jose. I can’t tell you how well my family has been treated here during my time. So that’s something that is real important to me and to my kids and certainly to my wife, so that part of it goes into the equation and my decision. This is home for us.
McLellan does not sound like someone eager to leave but that does not mean he will stay. More later.