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Sharks officially name McLellan new head coach

The Sports Network

6/12/2008 2:29:22 PM

San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks named former Detroit Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan their new head coach on Thursday.

McLellan, who was assistant to Red Wings coach Mike Babcock the past three years, was formally introduced as the seventh coach in San Jose history during a press conference at HP Pavilion. He agreed to a three-year deal with the Sharks.

"Todd McLellan has an excellent track record and has had success at every level of coaching in his career," said Wilson. "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 Devallano, 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."

Before joining the current Stanley Cup champion Red Wings, the 40-year-old McLellan spent four seasons as head coach of the Houston Aeros in the American Hockey League. He led the Aeros to the 2003 Calder Cup championship. The Aeros went 154-111-37-18 under his watch.

"It's a very good feeling," said McLellan in a statement released by the team Wednesday night. "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 replaces Ron Wilson, who was relieved of his duties after the Sharks bowed out in the second round of the playoffs. Ron Wilson piloted the Sharks to a 49-23-10 record in the 2007-2008 regular season. Though San Jose finished with the second-best mark in the Western Conference, the club fell in the conference semifinals to the Dallas Stars, the second consecutive year it has failed to win more than one playoff round.

A native of Melville, Saskatchewan, McLellan was drafted by the New York Islanders in 1986 and spent two seasons playing in the AHL with Springfield. He also played in five games for the Islanders during the 1987-88 season.