SAN JOSE – When the Sharks lost to the St. Louis Blues in five games in the first round last season, capping a disappointing campaign, it took several weeks before the front office publicly revealed head coach Todd McLellan would return.
It took less than 48 hours this time around.
General manager Doug Wilson said on Thursday there would be no changes to the Sharks’ coaching staff for next season, meaning McLellan and associate coach Larry Robinson, assistant coaches Jim Johnson and Jay Woodcroft, and video coordinator Brett Heimlich would all return in the fall.
“I think they’ve done an excellent job. All of the components of it,” Wilson said. “Larry and Jimmy coming in, it makes us a complete staff that not only allows us to play the way we want to play today, it helps the younger players get ready to play. I think they did an excellent job. Very proud of the job they did.”
Robinson and Johnson, both former NHL defensemen, were the newcomers to the revamped staff after assistant coach Matt Shaw was fired last summer.
McLellan was asked Thursday what adding the legendary Robinson, who owns nine Stanley Cup rings as a player and a coach, did for the staff. He took the opportunity to praise everyone.
“I tried to make it real clear at the beginning of the year that it wasn’t just Larry that was coming in. it was a number of other coaches that contributed to our season,” he said. “Larry, his playing career, his coaching career, is well-documented. I really like the person, Larry Robinson. The player and all that type of stuff; the person is the most important thing with him. He’s an honest guy that comes in, and has a lot of fun with us.
“Jim, his passion to work, and work with young players, is excellent. Woody, you guys know Woody, he’s been here long enough, his organizational skills. And Brett, that never gets talked about, probably puts in more hours than any of us, managing our whole group and everything video-wise.
“It was a fun group. A fun year to be around, as far as the staff goes.”
They’ll get to do it again in 2013-14.