SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -The San Jose Sharks hired former Detroit Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan as their new head coach on Wednesday, bringing in a leader with Stanley Cup winning credentials to replace the fired Ron Wilson.
McLellan will be formally introduced at a news conference Thursday, a person familiar with the decision said on condition of anonymity because an announcement has not been made.
McLellan had spent the past three seasons as an assistant in Detroit, where he was considered a bright offensive coach who led Detroit's power-play units. The Red Wings had the NHL's top power play in McLellan's first season, and the second best over his three-year tenure at 20.1 percent. McLellan helped the Red Wings knock out the Sharks in the second round of the playoffs in 2007 and win the Stanley Cup over Pittsburgh this past season.
Wilson was fired last month after the Sharks followed another outstanding regular season with yet another early exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs. He was hired as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.
The Sharks won the Pacific Division this season and compiled the NHL's second-best record with 49 wins and 108 points, but the Dallas Stars knocked them out of the second round in six games. San Jose ended its past three seasons with six-game series losses in the second round, and the Sharks lost to a lower-seeded team in three of their four postseasons under Wilson.
That led to general manager Doug Wilson's decision to let Ron Wilson go last month. At the time of the firing, Doug Wilson said further changes are in store for that roster that is led by former MVP Joe Thornton, captain Patrick Marleau and goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
Before joining the Red Wings, McLellan spent four seasons as coach of the American Hockey League's Houston Aeros, winning the Calder Cup championship in 2003. He also was a head coach for Cleveland in the International Hockey League and at Swift Current in the WHL.
McLellan played five games with the New York Islanders in 1987-88, recording one goal and one assist.