Sharks hire Todd McLellan as head coach

The San Jose Sharks have hired former Detroit Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan as their new head coach.

The San Jose Sharks have hired former Detroit Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan as their new head coach.

McLellan, 40,  will be introduced as the franchise's seventh head coach at a news conference with general manager Doug Wilson on Thursday.

"It's a very good feeling," McLellan said in a statement released by the team. "From the first moment Doug called to the moment he offered the job, I felt comfortable. I think the Sharks have done a tremendous job. You don't get that close to 50 wins for a number of years in a row without a lot of talent. It's a matter of getting over the hump. There are some real parallels between the Wings and the Sharks."

McLellan served as an assistant in Detroit for the past three seasons, winning the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings last week.

His focus with the Red Wings was on offence; he worked specifically with the team's power play units. During McLellan's three-year tenure with Detroit, the Red Wings boasted the league's second-best power play (20.1 per cent).

Prior to the job with the Red Wings, McLellan served as head coach of the American Hockey League's Houston Aeros, leading them to the Calder Cup championship in 2003. He has also served behind the bench for the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League and the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League.

"Todd McLellan has an excellent track record and has had success at every level of coaching in his career," Wilson said. "He comes from one of the top organizations in all of sports and has been exposed to some of the brightest hockey minds in the game, including Jim Devellano, Ken Holland, Scotty Bowman, Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock, along with Jacques Lemaire, to name just a few.

"We feel that Todd is an excellent fit for our hockey team."

McLellan succeeds Ron Wilson, who was fired by the Sharks on May 12. Wilson guided the team to the NHL's second-best regular season record (49-23-10, 108 points) but they were eliminated in the Western Conference semifinal by the Dallas Stars in six games.

It was the third consecutive season that the Sharks failed to advance past the conference semifinal under Wilson, prompting the team to make the change.

The Toronto Maple Leafs hired Wilson as their new head coach on Tuesday.

With files from the Associated Press