The Summer Knows – pt 1: Front office, Coaching

So, what’s going to happen with GM Doug Wilson, head coach Todd McLellan, and assistant coaches Johnson, Woodcroft? And what about the goalie coaching situation?

“The summer knows
The summer smiles….”

There is no president, just the ownership he reports to, and I really doubt DW will be replaced just for producing a team that indeed did “step back” as predicted and planned. He outlined the multi-year rebuild plan last summer to ownership and I’d guess he had a % chance of not making playoffs in that spiel.  Knowing the Silicon Valley mentality of the ownership, just I can’t see them jettisoning a GM who HAS put the team in the playoffs 10 years out of 11 in his tenure.

However, Friedman is hearing that GM Wilson may be “promoted” and a new GM installed.

After the public tiff between Wilson and Thornton, there was a lot of call for Wilson’s head (from outside the organization). Plattner apparently told Jumbo that he would retire a Shark (leaving open the door that Wilson might be the one to go as Thornton has a full No Movement Clause).

In addition, there is a lot of blame being pointed at Wilson, especially by fans.  I have heard from a number of fans very disheartened and upset by this season (and last summer’s lack of move) that are voting with their pocket book and not renewing their season tickets.  (Fans have until the not-yet-scheduled select-a-seat event to get a full refund on their tickets.  So any “renewal” numbers to date are subject to a lot of revision.)

IF ownership decides they’ll stick to the plan outlined last year, I’d peg asst GM Joe Will has the guy who might take over, at least on an interim basis, if for nothing else that he has AHL team he GMs in a playoff slot.

And none of the GMs relieved of their duties to date or previously unemployed seem to fit with the Sharks culture.

And unashamed
She sheds her clothes

There are changes coming in the coaching ranks for the Sharks.

Associate coach Larry Robinson will step from behind the bench to spend more of his time in Florida (or with his family).  As a development coach, he may only be in California for a week or so each month.

As for Todd McLellan, it may be by mutual agreement that he leaves the Sharks bench.  (He’s been rumored as one of the top desired candidates for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres coaching jobs, and a few other teams might fire their guy to hire him, like the Philadelphia Flyers.)  If he leaves, he may take one or both of his assistants (Woodcroft, Johnson) with him.  (Woodcroft is joining him coaching for Hockey Canada in the World Championships.)

I anticipated poor goaltending as neither the coaching (Thomas/Schwab) or goalies were not changed for this season.  With the AHL team moving to California, Schwab (living in Massachusetts) may not want to relocate and be full time on the west coast.   Thomas is 67 (68 in the fall) so might be contemplating retirement.

So, it may be that Johnson stays in San Jose, and is promoted to head coach, hiring a whole new staff.  Or an outside coach is hired (with all new staff).

An inkling of which might happen Wednesday, April 15, when the team gathers for year end meetings and media availability.

More coming.

Update 4/15: No change to GM or coaching staff.  Management (and ownership) still reviewing situation.  4/24 (date McLellan leaves for Prague to coach Hockey Canada @ IIHF World Championships) tentative deadline for decision on coaching. DW did not think team would “step back” so far as to miss playoffs and owned up to that responsibility.