McLellan: 'We need to do things the right way, not the sloppy way'
SAN JOSE -- Matt Pelech, John McCarthy and Bracken Kearns didn’t make the Opening Night roster, but that doesn’t mean Todd McLellan is unhappy with any of their performances. Quite the contrary, actually.
McLellan issued a warning of sorts to his current roster on Monday, suggesting that some players had better make sure their game is ready from the first drop of the puck, or the so-called “Worcester shuttle” could put on some early cross-country miles.
“We think we’ll give some of the players that have been here in the past the opportunity to get their games established early, but the leash isn’t going to be very long, because I think there’s some guys that can play down there,” McLellan said.
Interestingly, Pelech did not join his teammates in Worcester, as the Sharks sent him instead to ECHL San Francisco. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound winger could be recalled early in the season to patrol the ice against certain teams that dress bigger and tougher lineups.
The Sharks’ roster would be at 22 players if Raffi Torres and Marty Havlat are placed on injured reserve, so Pelech could be recalled at any point and would likely play in a fourth line role.
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Matt Tennyson drew some criticism from McLellan early in camp after the head coach wasn’t particularly impressed with the young defenseman’s play in a pair of intra-squad scrimmages. Tennyson seemingly righted the ship, as he survived training camp until final cuts on Monday.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder will log big minutes in Worcester.
“Matt Tennyson has to play hockey. For Matt to sit here and eat popcorn and watch a bunch of veterans play, that’s not a good thing, so Matt is going to go [to Worcester],” McLellan said.
The 23-year-old’s reassignment to Worcester was not surprising in that Brad Stuart, despite not playing in any preseason games, should be recovered from a lower body injury by the season opener on Thursday.
“Matt wasn’t going to do us any good, or himself any good, being here as [the eighth defenseman],” McLellan said.