Todd McLellan spent three years as an assistant in Detroit before being hired by the Sharks. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
The San Jose Sharks have done their homework.
Todd McLellan may not be a household name, but he has been successful at every level he has coached and was in charge of a Detroit power play that has terrorized shorthanded opponents for the past three seasons.
Known as an offense-minded boss, McLellan should bring out the best in a San Jose team rife with snipers and playmakers aching to break out and establish themselves as stars of the second season.
From his first days as a head coach with the Western League’s Swift Current Broncos, to his brief stop in Cleveland of the International League, to his days with the Houston Aeros of the American League, McLellan has yet to miss the playoffs.
In Swift Current, he earned two division titles, WHL coach-of-the-year honors in 2000 and was named the WHL’s executive of the year in 1997 when he was both coach and GM.
In 2002-03 with the Aeros, McLellan won a Calder Cup and was named minor pro coach of the year by The Hockey News for his efforts. After two more years in the AHL, McLellan made the jump to Detroit’s bench as an assistant.
Over his three seasons on the job, the Wings power play was top three in the league on two occasions. Yes, he was blessed with superior offensive talent, but the Sharks are loaded just the same.
McLellan’s hiring is another breath of fresh air as it continues a recent trend of deserving and accomplished coaches getting their first shot behind an NHL bench.
With success at every level and a Stanley Cup ring on his finger, McLellan is an offensive general who will kick start a Shark attack that was uninspired for most of this season. His winning background should help the teal improve on a history of meager playoff performances.