As has been speculated almost since the moment the Edmonton Oilers relieved Todd McLellan of his duties, the Los Angeles Kings have snapped the veteran coach right up.
McLellan will become the 29th head coach in franchise history. At exit interviews for the Kings, Blake said that he was focused on finding someone with previous National Hockey League coaching experience, who had achieved to a high enough level that players would buy in and find him credible.
So while some wanted the Kings to go off the board and select someone from the European, NCAA, or AHL coaching ranks, to think a little more creatively with their hire, Blake prioritized NHL experience and a championship pedigree in his next coach.
McLellan certainly has the experience; he was the head coach of the San Jose Sharks for seven seasons (2008-15) and of the Edmonton Oilers for a little over three (2015-18). He has a career record of 434-282-90 in 806 regular season games and has led his team to the playoffs for seven seasons. He also won a Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008, where he was an assistant coach.
(The Kings, of course, know a little something about a McLellan-coached team in the playoffs.)
McLellan coached Team Canada at the 2015 World Hockey Championship, a team which included Tyler Toffoli, so at least one current King is familiar with McLellan behind the bench. Additionally, in his second year of coaching the AHL’s Houston Aeros, McLellan and team captured the 2003 Calder Cup. The team made the playoffs for all four seasons that McLellan coached them.
Reports indicate that McLellan’s contract is for five years, which, in terms of core players would take him to the end of Anze Kopitar’s current contract. Drew Doughty would have one more season remaining.
McLellan has signed a five-year contract worth around $25 million depending on bonuses. But ball park is around $5 M per year on average according to sources https://t.co/9kdT5HjzXg— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 16, 2019
An official press conference will be held on Wednesday. We’ll be bringing you news, updates, and more insight on McLellan and what he can bring to the Kings over the course of the week.