Former San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan has found reportedly a new home, jumping from one rebuilding franchise to another.
According to Sportsnet, McLellan will be named the coach of the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
The Oilers are an interesting choice for McLellan, who established himself as a veteran NHL coach in his seven years behind the Sharks’ bench. McLellan was the longest-tenured head coach in franchise history with 540 games coached, and his 311 wins also ranks first.
But McLellan’s inability to guide the Sharks to a Stanley Cup led to his departure, as he and the team mutually parted ways in April.
Since then, McLellan has been one of the hottest names on the market, linked to nearly every team with a coaching vacancy including the Flyers, Maple Leafs, and Sabres.
Edmonton, though, apparently intrigued McLellan the most, despite the fact that the Oilers have been perennial bottom-dwellers and last made the playoffs nine years ago. Their leadership has been in a continuous state of disarray, undergoing five head coaches in the last six seasons.
McLellan would make six in seven seasons, and he will be working under newly hired GM Peter Chiarelli, the former Bruins GM seeking to change the culture in Edmonton.
It may seem strange for McLellan to hop from the Sharks to a less established franchise in the Oilers — who also happen to be in the same division as the Sharks — but not when you consider the wealth of young talent on the Oilers roster.
Connor McDavid, the first overall pick in this year’s draft and projected superstar, is obviously alluring to McLellan. So are Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov, all recent high draft picks by the Oilers.
Contrast that with the Sharks, who have an aging core, a consistent pattern of falling short of the goal, and are likely bound for a lengthy rebuilding period.
The Oilers do not lack talent and youth, but rather leadership and a consistent guiding hand, and they hope McLellan can provide both.
All things considered, McLellan’s time in San Jose had probably expired, and he should be pleased with his new home.