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Sharks players go to bat for McLellan: ‘Why would you get rid of him?’

Todd McLellan

San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan yells to his players during the third period against Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, April 26, 2014. Los Angeles won 3-0. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


Earlier in the week, Sharks coach Todd McLellan acknowledged the “reality” that his job was on the line.

Then, yesterday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman led his popular “30 Thoughts” column with this:

1. As ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun first reported a coaching change may come in San Jose, a couple of contacts said they heard Doug Wilson reached out to Dan Bylsma. Suffice it to say Wilson denied that as strongly as anyone can deny something. “Tell whoever you want to tell that’s not true,” he said.

Safe to say, for a team that’s coming off a rather tumultuous offseason, all the talk about the coach’s job security is an unwelcome distraction. So today, per CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz, McLellan’s players went to bat for him:

The Sharks (10-9-4) have four games left on their current six-game home stand, which so far has seen them lose twice in the shootout to Florida and Arizona. Tonight, it’s Calgary paying a visit, with games to follow against Anaheim, Philadelphia, and Boston.

For what it’s worth, if there is a coaching change in San Jose, expect the story to get a lot of attention in Edmonton, where, on Saturday, it was the Oilers who were sticking up for their embattled bench boss, Dallas Eakins.

While it’s believed Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish is not, at present, inclined to fire Eakins, that could feasibly change should a coach of McLellan’s caliber become available.

Related: McLellan thinks the Sharks played ‘dumb hockey’ versus the Sabres