The Sharks currently have 27 healthy players skating every day trying to make the final impression in camp. Derek Joslin and Cam MacIntyre have not been able to get on the ice recently due to injuries and make the current camp total 29 players.
Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan can relate to the feelings of the younger players still hoping to make the roster, although not all the hopefuls trying make the cut are young as former Red Wing Andreas Lilja is still part of the camp list.
McLellan recalls his days at camp with the New York Islanders, not knowing what his fate would be the next day.
“It was nerve-wracking,” said McLellan. “You came to the rink and you left everything you had on the ice and controlled what you could control. There are variables that you don’t control.”
He hopes his experiences allow him to handle things in the proper manner with players who he has to deliver bad news to.
“I was sat down and I was told to go work hard in the minors,” said McLellan. “That’s what we should be doing anyhow. I needed some specifics. What do I need to do to play here? Do I need to be faster or better defensively? Am I not strong enough? As time has gone on, all teams are better at giving specific feed back as the player leaves. For you to play here, you’re going to need to improve in these areas. Back in my day you probably didn’t get that as much.”
That McLellan was a first round bonus baby can also help him relate to the situation.
“The benefit that maybe I have is that maybe I was close, but never in,” said McLellan. “There are some coaches that were in (the NHL as a player) forever. They don’t completely understand what it’s like to be going up and down. I know I was close and know what it is like.”
Still McLellan says the correlation is the exact same as when he was striving for the NHL.
“I don’t use me as an example,” said McLellan. “It was 1987. Some of these guys weren’t even born in 1987.”
McLellan acknowledged he is getting close on the final decisions, but that nothing is set in stone.
“About 90/10,” said McLellan about how close he is percentage wise. “We have pretty good idea of what our lineup is going to look like. We’re still tinkering with how we’ll play some people. The line combos, the defensive pairings, stuff like that. The other 10 percent is up for grabs. That is just for roster spots. After that I think there is going to be a huge competition for power play time, penalty kill time, minutes, linemates.”
The netminding duo for Vancouver appears to be Antti Niemi
and Thomas Greiss
with Antero Niittymaki likely getting the final warmup in San Jose Wednesday night.
Jay Leach, Sean Sullivan and T.J. Trevelyan all cleared waivers on their way to Worcester.
The Sharks will visit Vancouver at 7 p.m. tonight and the contest will be available on the NHL Network, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.