Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli viewed former San Jose coach Todd McLellan as a prize free-agent catch when he and the Sharks said goodbye a month ago.
Chiarelli wasn’t going to take it slow and easy in his pursuit, so he jumped in, swimming furiously, even knowing Mike Babcock might come free.
“I thought the fit was right with Todd with our personnel and the fit was right with how I manage and, in this business, if you want to get a top coach, you have to act quickly,” said Chiarelli, who didn’t know McLellan well personally, but found some instant chemistry after talking with him for about four hours in Prague, Czech Republic, at the world hockey championship.
“It’s almost like free agency for players. If you’re not in there first, you probably won’t get the guy. I knew we had to get in there first and go in hard,” he added.
Chiarelli had some history with Babcock on the 2014 Canadian Olympic team — the Detroit Red Wings coach was behind the bench and Chiarelli was part of the management group when he was the Boston Bruins GM — so he fully knows what Babcock brings to the table. He just didn’t ask for permission to talk to him.
“I got to know Mike a little bit at the Olympics and before that at the world championship and he’s a really impressive coach and an impressive person, but Todd was at the top of my list for a number of reasons. That doesn’t mean Mike’s not a great coach,” Chiarelli said.
The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have appointed Todd McLellan as the club’s new Head Coach. McLellan becomes the 14th Head Coach in Oilers franchise history.
Most recently, McLellan was the Head Coach of Team Canada at the 2015 World Hockey Championship, leading Canada to their first gold medal since 2007 with an undefeated record of 10-0 and an impressive 6-1 win over Team Russia in the gold medal final.
Peter Chiarelli, GM of the Edmonton Oilers has scheduled a press conference at 4:00pm ET.
Expectation is Todd McLellan will be named the head coach, watch below...
Todd McLellan will be the new head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, with a formal announcement from the organization expected sometime this week, possibly as early as Tuesday.
It’s been a nice run of late for the beleaguered franchise who recently added former Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, not to mention winning the right to choose Connor McDavid with the first overall selection of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
frm Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
... there is soon going to be a new kid in town. Connor McDavid.
And if and when McDavid arrives in this western city — once mocked as Deadmonton, the city that free agents either fled or dread — he’ll be coming to a place with a new sense of self, a newfound confidence.
It stems partly from folks here finding other things to do, and other ways to define themselves while the Oilers played so poorly — and partly from the fact there’s this big new arena going in downtown where McDavid will play in a couple of seasons.
“The Oilers have a new barn, a top pick and a lot of young talent,” says James Jackson, in charge of bringing sporting events to Edmonton. “We have a new young mayor. Our average age is 36. And we voted NDP.
“It’s a cool dynamic.”
No. This isn’t Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton. It will be Connor McDavid’s. And they can’t get him here soon enough.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
So, they have to trade for a defenceman, but one that’s considerably older. It’s no secret the Oilers are eyeing the Chicago Blackhawks’ Brent Seabrook, 30, because he has another year on his contract at $5 million before he becomes an unrestricted free agent, and the ’Hawks are once again in a major cap squeeze for next year and beyond.
Maybe there’s some soft interest in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Dion Phaneuf, also 30, but he’s starting a six-year, $41-million deal this upcoming season.
Is he in Seabrook’s league as a Top 2 defenceman? Probably not.
Here’s what the Oilers could be doing to upgrade their defence, even if it’s not landing a legitimate Top 2 guy. They should try to get a very good No. 3, who is young and can play big minutes.
Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher, who needs a young scorer with Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville coming up dry in the playoffs, and Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli, who needs a defenceman who can eat up minutes, should be on the phone to each other.
Chiarelli, who has never had trouble with small defencemen (see Torey Krug and Brad Marchand in Boston), should be making a strong pitch for Tyler Ennis’s best buddy Jared Spurgeon, a solid No. 3 National Hockey League defenceman with strong possession numbers.
And Fletcher should be asking about winger Nail Yakupov because Chiarelli may not be married to the young Oilers as former GM Craig MacTavish was.
I tweeted this while doing a bit of shopping and now that I am home, you can check it out yourself on KK.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Do you, Todd McLellan, take the Edmonton Oilers …
Do you, Edmonton Oilers, take Todd McLellan …
“I like to use analogies sometimes,” the head coach of Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship said in an exclusive interview with your correspondent here Monday.
“For me, this like dating and finding your wife. You know when you’ve found your wife. You don’t need to go on a whole bunch of dates with other people.
“If you’ve found a group which has met your criteria and you like what’s going on there and you know you’re going to be able to work with people, settle in and get to work.”
Was McLellan telegraphing his intentions?
The former head coach of the San Jose Sharks is aware of those back in Canada, and some here, who believe the Oilers are well down the road to making him their next head coach despite Mike Babcock having been given the month of May to prepare for his own June wedding.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
You can forgive Todd Nelson if he feels a bit like he’s on the outside looking in these days.
Nelson still has a contract with the Edmonton Oilers as their coach — albeit with an interim tag after replacing Dallas Eakins early last December — but now Detroit’s Mike Babcock has popped into the picture in a big way. And, of course, Todd McLellan, coach of Canada’s team at the world championships, has been lurking for weeks.
Taylor Hall and his Edmonton teammates are solidly onside with Nelson; he made the Oilers relevant over the last four months, and got the team playing with much more purpose. But Nelson probably knows in his heart of hearts the Oilers are going to replace him as head man.
Babcock is the “marquee coach.”
McLellan, the ex-San Jose Sharks coach, has more NHL cachet, too.
Nelson was interviewed Saturday by Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli, but it may have been only a courtesy meeting — although Chiarelli probably wanted his take on all the Oilers players, too.
Nelson deserves better, for sure; certainly after he turned the Oilers around in his brief time behind the bench. He’s a bright guy but has been an NHL head coach for only four months or so.
Eberle chatted with ESPN.com’s Craig Custance about the tournament and the future of the Oilers following Team Canada’s practice on Friday.
Custance: There’s a group of Oilers playing in this tournament. What do you hope you guys get out of playing here?
Eberle: First off, you get a chance to keep playing hockey. The playoffs are still going on and you want to be playing hockey in May. I’m a younger player, I have a lot to grow. You have a chance to play with some of the best players in the world. It brings your game up a level.
Custance: Are you still following the NHL playoffs back home?
Eberle: Oh, yeah. We’ve been watching quite a bit. It’s tough over here with the time change. You wake up with the scores and watch the highlights. But you definitely keep track.
Custance: So where were you when the Oilers won the draft lottery? Were you watching?
Eberle: I wasn’t even watching it. I found out on my phone, I was with quite a few teammates and pretty ecstatic....
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org