SAN JOSE -- For the Sharks, in terms of change, nothing should be off the table.

That's where you begin.

After cementing its status as one of the most spectacularly collapsing teams in NHL history, the hockey company of the Bay Area needs to start behaving more like the other companies around here.

In the tech industry, one of the success mantras is to "fail fast" so that if a project does fail, a company can quickly move onto the next thing.

The Sharks, though, have been in kind of a slow-motion fail for the past decade. They have raised hopes by accumulating the second-best regular-season record of any NHL team since 2003, often winning a playoff round or two to raise more hopes ... then always falling short of the Stanley Cup finals.

This spring was merely the most radical version of that scenario. The Sharks began their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings with three straight victories, then did a faceplant with four straight losses.

In that way, the Sharks did fail fast. So it is time to do the Silicon Valley thing and respond by considering big change -- whatever that means.

Should the status of Sharks general manager Doug Wilson be on the table for discussion? Yes.

Should the status of coach Todd McLellan be on the table? Yes.

Should the status of veteran players, even if they have no-trade clauses, be on the table? Yes.

Of course, any sort of radical shakeup must be initiated from the very top. That would point to franchise owner Hasso Plattner, who assumed control of the team early in 2013.


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And that's where things get mysterious.

Good luck trying to read Plattner's mind. He chooses to be a low-key owner. Plattner attended all seven Sharks playoff games, say team officials. But he never put himself in the spotlight. So it is unclear how angry he might be over the playoff flop.

In fact, it is unclear exactly where the Sharks even fit into Plattner's personal emotional portfolio. The 70-year-old German software honcho is among the world's richest 150 people. He is worth $9 billion, according to Forbes magazine. That means the Sharks constitute a piddling 5 percent of Plattner's fortune.

By reputation, Plattner is a competitive man. He has raced yachts at a high level. He also enjoys playing tennis and golf at the various resorts he owns.

How, then, does a mortifying loss by his hockey franchise fit into all that?

After Wednesday's humiliation, does Plattner stew, foment and ponder a major franchise transformation?

Or does he shrug and move on to the next most interesting thing on his plate?

A year ago, Plattner held a rare sit-down with reporters. He basically said all hockey questions should be directed to Wilson. He was not available for interviews Thursday and will speak with media Friday to dissect the playoff loss.

At that time, count on Wilson to reiterate his ongoing philosophy of "Refresh And Re-Set." This master plan calls for the Sharks' veteran core, centered on 34-year-old veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, to still contribute as they grow older -- with younger top-tier players such as Logan Couture and Marc-Edouard Vlasic gradually assuming team leadership.

Wilson never, ever utters the word "rebuild." There is a reason.

Plattner is said to believe that if the Sharks ever back up the truck, strip down the roster and implement a youthful reconstruction that would require several years of losing on the ice, attendance at SAP Center would drop off dramatically. In the NHL, television revenue is relatively minimal compared to the other major pro leagues, so ticket revenue is of foremost concern.

The "Refresh and Re-Set" concept also plays into Wilson's conviction that if he can maneuver the Sharks into the playoffs every spring, one of those years things will align perfectly and a Stanley Cup will be the outcome. Assuming that Plattner still agrees with Wilson on all this, you wonder if the scapegoat for this year's failure will be McLellan.

McLellan's immediate postgame remarks Wednesday night were infused with emotion. How could they not be? He said the Sharks' problems "got progressively worse" during the series because players wouldn't stick with the game plan. McLellan also assumed personal responsibility for the team's failure, the correct professional approach.

But at one point, when someone mentioned the Sharks proved something by stretching their playoff series against the Kings to the maximum seven games for two straight years, McLellan was not eager to play along.

"We were a lot closer last year than we were this year," McLellan said, bluntly.

That sounded like a coach who, if he stays, would prefer some roster changes. A few are inevitable.

Dan Boyle, the stalwart 37-year-old defenseman whose contract his expired, likely will not be back.

The goalie, Antti Niemi, can't feel too secure.

But by recently signing Thornton and Marleau to three-year extensions, Wilson has tied his own hands in many respects.

After such a historic series meltdown, this Sharks offseason cannot be a normal one. Plattner must set the tone and the rest should trickle down, no matter who keeps their job and who doesn't. The paying customers will demand it.

Those customers aren't disdainful of any philosophy that's a proven success. But right now, they are growing weary of: "Refresh, Re-Set and Re-Disappoint."

Read Mark Purdy's blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/purdy. Contact him at mpurdy@mercurynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MercPurdy.