Hockey World Blog

Sharks Hire Robinson as Associate Coach

In a move that could generate speculation and rumor, the San Jose Sharks hired former New Jersey bench boss and Hall of Famer Larry Robinson as an associate coach under current coach Todd McLellan.

Even before he had a chance to sit down and enjoy his new job, he was being asked questions by the San Jose press if he was there to take over for McLellan should he get sacked during next season. Robinson came out and to the San Jose Mercury News “That was the first thing I said when I came into the room. I do not want to be a head coach, I’m not here to take Todd’s job.”

This isn’t the first time he’s been placed in a situation like this. When he was with the Devils during the 1999-2000 season, Robbie Ftorek was fired with eight games left in the regular season in which Robinson led the franchise to the Stanley Cup. If things don’t sound even more coincidental, he said in a March 24, 2000 Sports Illustrated story “The only thing I said before all of this was in no way did I want to come here lurking to be the next head coach.” Look for Robinson to help the Sharks’ special teams unit. Last season the power play unit was just as good as the penalty unit was bad. Both ranked second in the league- the power play was second-best at 21.1 percent while the penalty kill was second-worse at 76.9 percent.

McLellan is under pressure this season because they haven’t had the success in the playoffs as expected. They reached the conference finals in two of his four seasons as head coach but have yet to reach the Stanley Cup Final. Also the Sharks had one of their worse regular seasons in recent memory when they lost the division title to Phoenix by one point but fell all the way to seventh in the West and bowed out in the first round of the playoffs to St. Louis. They had one of the better records at the always-difficult HP Pavillion but they were a mediocre 17-17-7 on the road.  Like Detroit, they have reached the playoffs every year since the 2004-05 lockout.

This off-season, they haven’t made many transactions, with the most significant moves was acquiring former Detroit blueliner Brad Stuart in a trade last month and former Dallas center Adam Burish via free agency. Stuart’s contract is three years, $10.8 million while Burish is signed for four years and $7.2 million.  According to CapGeek, they have a 20-player roster with a payroll of $64,629,167. They also have $5,570,833 in salary cap space.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.