Thread: Speculation: Fire Todd Mclellan
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03-21-2012, 09:51 AM
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The soul searching needs to be started at the top.

I'll freely admit I'm now looking at this in 20/20 hindsight and odds are many of us liked the moves when they were done, and this team *is* talented. I don't think there's an identity to the franchise anymore.

2008-2010: The system, team, coaching staff, everything is geared toward emulating the Detroit Red Wings. In 2009, the Sharks are eliminated by the Ducks in 6. Just awful. However, those Ducks pushed the Wings to 7 games the very next round. They largely stay the course, bringing in Heatley and moving Ehrhoff and Michalek out, beat the Red Wings and are then run over by a team with cheap young talent and cheap goaltending. Philly also reaches the finals on cheap goaltending.

At this point, things get concerning. Wilson's moves this offseason seem to be targeted at A) emulating Chicago and B) helping to destroy Chicago's depth. He doesn't actually shore up the Sharks' depth until the January trades which created the 3rd scoring line and replaces Rob Blake. Niemi hits a hot streak. The team beats Detroit again and then is defeated by a team that was able to withstand injuries, especially on the blue line better than the Sharks. Ironically, the two teams in the SCF spend about 11 million on their starting goaltending a year after the league as a whole had relegated goaltending to "anyone can do it."

This offseason, he copies Vancouver's defensive depth, and the Sharks have 8 NHL defensemen on the roster to start the season. This comes at the cost of the offensive scoring depth and the Sharks go periods of time with 3-4 healthy top 6 forwards. Wingles, Winchester, Ferriero, Desjardins all find time on a top 2 line. Despite the glut of d-men, the group is not defensively sound enough to cover for average goaltending, which is what the Sharks now pay for.

Looking back in this light, I wonder if St. Louis wins the west if Wilson would fire McLellen and try to lure Lemaire back to the NHL. Rather than doubling down and working through the Detroit theory as he did the first two seasons, Wilson is now reacting to whoever is the previous year's big boy in the Western Conference. We have a mass of talent, brought in in different years for different reasons and it's failing to mesh when it needs to the most.

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