Report: Sharks grant Leafs permission to interview Todd McLellan
San Jose could end up with an extra third-rounder once their former coach picks a landing spot.
Mike Babcock might be the hottest name on this summer's sizable coaching market but former Sharks head coach Todd McLellan is drawing plenty of interest as well. New Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli flew to Prague last week to wine and dine McLellan while he coaches Team Canada's entry at the World Championships and it looks like another long-suffering Canadian franchise has also emerged as a suitor:
Leafs also believed to have permission to talk to Todd MacLellan. Expected Brendan Shanahan headed to worlds this week, may have task there.— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) May 10, 2015
Maybe when McLellan is coaching the Maple Leafs people will finally learn how to spell his name. Anyway, Toronto's interest here makes sense; they need a backup plan in the likely event Babcock doesn't want to bother with what looks like a lengthy rebuild. Team president Brendan Shanahan also has familiarity with McLellan, having scored 40 goals at age 37 back in the 2005-06 season for a Red Wings team whose offense and power play were run by McLellan.
The most intriguing part of all this from a Sharks perspective is that, because McLellan remains under contract with San Jose, the team is entitled to a third-round draft pick should the Leafs, Oilers or any other team hire him. The pick would come in one of the next three entry drafts, as chosen by the hiring team. While the Sharks can waive their right to that compensation, as the Pittsburgh Penguins did last week when the New Jersey Devils hired Ray Shero as their general manager, it wouldn't make sense to do so in this situation. Shero had been unemployed for nearly a year when the Devils came calling and Penguins ownership likely weighed the benefit of getting his salary off the books against the risk of New Jersey looking elsewhere for a new GM if Pittsburgh haggled over a third-round pick.
In contrast, there's absolutely no risk of McLellan still being on the Sharks' books come September. He will be a head coach somewhere in the NHL next year and San Jose might as well add an extra draft pick from whichever team competing for his services is willing to cough it up while they can.