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Sharks owner expresses disappointment in playoff loss, support for GM, coach

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Sharks are bringing back coach Todd McLellan and general manager Doug Wilson for another season despite another early playoff flop.

Owner Hasso Plattner said Wednesday he was accepting Wilson's recommendation to keep McLellan after the Sharks became just the fourth NHL team ever to lose a best-of-seven playoff series after winning the first three games.

"I am very disappointed in the way our team finished the 2013-14 season," Plattner said in a statement. "Gaining a 3-0 series advantage and being unable to advance is a major blow to our organization and fan base. Our teams have been consistently built to go deep into the playoffs and this goal won't change.

"Doug Wilson and I have met over the past two weeks. He has shared his support of the coaching staff, as well as his recommended changes to our team's roster, and he has my complete support moving forward."

Plattner also thanked fans for their support and said he is not satisfied with the performance the past few seasons and believes a plan is in place to improve on those results.

"I am confident that with the proposed changes, Doug and his staff will build a team we can all be proud of," Plattner said.

The Sharks have a 271-130-57 record in six seasons under McLellan, posting the second-most wins in the NHL in that span to Pittsburgh. San Jose made back-to-back conference finals under McLellan, losing in four games to Chicago in 2010 and in five games the following season to Vancouver.

The Sharks have won only one playoff series in McLellan's other four seasons, losing in the first round to Anaheim in 2009, St. Louis in 2011 and Los Angeles this season. San Jose swept Vancouver in the first round in 2013 before losing a seven-game series to the Kings.

Wilson became general manager in May 2003 and has built playoff teams every season. The Sharks have the second-most points in the regular season the past 10 seasons but are still looking for their first Stanley Cup appearance.

The Sharks have most of their key pieces under control for next season after signing captain Joe Thornton and all-time leading goal scorer Patrick Marleau to three-year extensions in January.

The most prominent unrestricted free agent is 37-year-old defenceman Dan Boyle. Forwards Bracken Kearns and Mike Brown, defenceman Scott Hannan and backup goalie Alex Stalock are the other unrestricted free agents.

The team also could use one of its two compliance buyouts to cut ties with unproductive forward Marty Havlat, who is owed $6 million next season in the final year of his contract.

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