Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sharks Complete Coaching Staff

New Sharks coach Todd McLellan has now hired his assistant coaches: Trent Yawney, Todd Richards, Jay Woodcroft, Corey Schwab, and former Sharks favourite Mike Ricci.

Trent Yawney, 42, is the biggest name on the list. He was head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks for more than a season, posting a 33-55-15 record. According to the San Jose Mercury News, he will be in charge of the penalty kill and defence.

He also played in 593 games as defenceman for the Chicago Blackhawks, accruing 129 points and 783 penalty minutes. This included the first three seasons of current Shark Jeremy Roenick’s career. He was also captain of Team Canada in the 1988 Winter Olympics—no small feat.

Richards, 41, has spent the last six seasons coaching the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Milwaukee Admirals, reaching the playoffs all six times. His teams were finalists three times, and the Admirals swept his future team at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2004 for the title.

Since he is listed by the Mercury News as the other coach joining McLellan behind the bench, it can reasonably be assumed that he will take over for Tim Hunter, who was in charge of forwards last season. Hunter and Rob Zettler officially joined former coach Ron Wilson's staff in Toronto Wednesday.

Schwab will be the goaltending development coach, a role that has been filled by Assistant General Manager Wayne Thomas since the health of uber-coach Warren Strelow deteriorated to the point where he could no longer fill that role in 2006.

According to sjsharks.com, Thomas will still work closely with Schwab, who played under Strelow and is excited to get a chance to extend his former mentor’s legacy.

Woodcroft is just 31, and served with McLellan last season in Detroit as video coach, preparing both video scouting reports and in-game analysis. “He will take on more responsibilities” this season, McLellan said.

Ricci is coming down from the front office as an advisor to be the team's Development Coach.

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