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Drew Remenda: Thornton's comment 'wasn't a jab' at McLellan

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Former Sharks broadcaster shared his conversation with Thornton on Edmonton radio.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Despite getting fired by the organization at the conclusion of last season, few people are more plugged-in to the Sharks than former broadcaster and current Edmonton Oilers color guy Drew Remenda. He provided a sensible, well-informed analysis of what went wrong in San Jose this season on Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami's podcast last week and today went on Edmonton radio to clarify comments made by Joe Thornton about Todd McLellan during yesterday's media availability.

As you'll recall, Thornton said yesterday regarding McLellan's future with the organization, "Todd has to talk to his family. Maybe he should talk to this family as well in here." That was widely interpreted as a shot at McLellan; that Thornton was apparently accusing the team's coach of failing to communicate with the room. After texting with Thornton, Remenda confirmed today that wasn't the case at all. Here's the relevant bit from Remenda's segment on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer:

The interesting thing yesterday was the Joe Thornton comment. I talked to Joe about it, as you know I've known Joe for a long time. He said it wasn't a jab at all. He said, "I'm simply saying maybe we don't want you to leave. Maybe we want you to stay. Maybe we think you're part of the solution. So don't forget us because we're your other family. We've been together for seven years." Joe knows a good coach and knows Todd and knows that Todd is a good coach and he basically was trying to give Todd a friendly nudge saying "come talk to us too. I know you've got your family to talk to because that's important." But Joe's big on family as well and "we're your other family" is basically what he was saying. And I imagine that conversation is going to happen in the next few days, that Todd will talk to the core guys like Joe Thornton and Pavelski and Marleau and Vlasic and Couture and those guys, he will have a conversation with them.

The entire interview, which includes Remenda saying there's a "strong possibility" McLellan will become a free agent (and that his departure from the Sharks is unlikely to be as mutual as reported), begins at 5:33 of this audio file and is well worth a listen:

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