Bay Area

Todd McLellan to get long look by Toronto Maple Leafs

The Conference Finals have yet to get underway in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, but already the coaching silly season is in full swing. Current Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock is the prized name among job hopefuls, but one name familiar to San Jose Sharks fans is also drawing a lot of interest from hockey analysts and pundits … none other than recently disposed Sharks coach Todd McLellan.

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that new Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli flew to the World Championships in Prague to speak to McLellan about the merits of heading up his young but defensively challenged club.

In what could develop as a bidding war, rumors also have it that the Toronto Maple Leafs have received permission from Sharks’ general manager Doug Wilson to talk to McLellan as well.

McLellan would have a monumental task in rebuilding either of the storied – yet troubled – Canadian franchises, but aside from Montreal, the Toronto gig is about as big as it gets in the NHL, and that just might tip the scales in favor of McLellan relocating from sunny northern California to colder environs up north. 

Why do Sharks fans care?

Well, most Sharks fans are smarting from the fact that McLellan – the most successful coach in the franchise’s history – is gone instead of the increasingly unpopular Wilson. More importantly though, McLellan left the Sharks; he was not fired. As McLellan still has a single year left on his contract, any team that signs him to coach next season would owe the Sharks a 3rd round draft pick in either of the next three NHL Entry Drafts, as decided by the hiring club.

For the past 12 months, Sharks fans have experience one loss after another. Here’s maybe the one lone opportunity for something good to come from all the bad.

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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Ray Hartjen

A Public Relations pro by day, by night @RayHartjen follows parallel - yet somehow still often conflicting - paths searching for hair metal guitar legend status, a career as a journeyman 4th line center in the NHL, and the treasured laminates to be a hanger-on in the circus that is Formula 1.


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