Head Coach Todd McLellan may have ventured out for a few visits this summer, but for the most part, he and his family have been content parking themselves in California. That has been the routine each of his three offseasons.
|San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan smiles during a news conference in San Jose, Calif., Friday, May 13, 2011. The Sharks won the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinal playoff series on Thursday, May 12, by defeating the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in Game 7. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) |
“Since we moved here, it’s become home for us,” McLellan said. “We’re busy here and the whole family has things to do. We make this our base camp and we wander from here.”
The primary goal is to catch up with his wife and two boys as much as possible.
“Just family time, time the four us can spend together,” McLellan said. “We’re away from each other so much. That’s really valuable.”
Like most locals, McLellan has found the beauty of travelling within California and clearly has a preferred spot.
“We went to Tahoe and spent some time there. It’s one of my favorite places,” McLellan said. “We really enjoyed it. We’ve been there every summer and once during the Olympic break for a holiday. It’s very relaxing there.”
Whether it’s the water, the mountains or the sun, McLellan likes every part of the Tahoe excursion.
“We wander around and look, spend a little time on the water on the jet skis and that type of stuff,” McLellan said. “Most of it is just relaxing.”
More important than vacation time to McLellan is the opportunity to watch his sons compete in their sporting events. They’re not professionals (yet), but McLellan just enjoys being a spectator.
“My oldest played high school baseball and when that was done he concentrated on hockey,” McLellan said. “My youngest has been involved in just about everything. He traveled to grandma’s house on his own. He played a little bit of travel hockey this summer and he’s taking up a little bit of golf as well.”
It’s not been all personal time as there’s plenty of work to be done in the offseason and McLellan has remained busy at his office. Not necessarily his location behind the bench, but literally in his office where he and his staff are continually working to make their summers even shorter.
“We wish the summer was two weeks shorter than it has been the last two years,” McLellan said. “We’ve got some work to do to try and make that happen. Even though the summers are shorter, it seems like there’s more and more work. It’s not a seasonal job.”
Change is automatic in the offseason and McLellan has seen it on the player front and with his staff. Assistant Coach Trent Yawney stepped away and McLellan has reshuffled the assistant duties between Matt Shaw and Jay Woodcroft.
|San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan, top, right wing Ryane Clowe (29) and center Joe Pavelski (8) watch action against the Vancouver Canucks in the third period of an NHL preseason hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) |
With Yawney leaving the organization, there are some holes to fill there,” McLellan said. “We’ve chosen to fill them internally with Jay stepping up. We’re putting a lot more on his plate, which we’re very comfortable doing. In turn, Brett Heimlich (coaching staff assistant) will take on a little bit more from a video perspective. We feel we’ve got a pretty good staff. We’re comfortable with each other and we like to work together. I feel the players are comfortable with these moves and we’ll continue on that way.”
On that player front, the blueline is where most of the changes have taken place and McLellan and crew have begun postulating how each new piece will mingle.
“Every year is a different year. Last year we had a big turnover between the pipes in goal bringing Nitty (Antero Niittymaki) and Nemo (Antti Niemi
) in,” McLellan said. “There was an adjustment period there. This year it seems like it’s more on the blueline with (Brent) Burns, (Jim) Vandermeer and (Colin) White. All additions that we feel will provide a different ingredient for our hockey club and we feel we’re stronger back there.”
McLellan also likes the changes up front, including the acquisition of Martin Havlat
“Up front there hasn’t been a lot of changes other than the Havlat addition, but we feel that when we lost Seto (Devin Setoguchi), we lost a little bit of speed and we needed to replace that,” McLellan said. “We feel that Marty Havlat can do that. He has an extremely high skill level and plays at a little bit of a faster pace.”
And in about a month, McLellan’s life will return to that faster pace which comes with every NHL season. But for now, it’s all about enjoying the family and life.