Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/06/10 at 12:42 AM ET
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
McLellan believed he was ready. He paid his dues. The Western Hockey League’s Coach of the Year in 2000, McLellan led the Houston Aeros to the AHL’s Calder Cup title in 2003 before his apprenticeship in Detroit.
Red Wings University is never a bad place to upgrade your skills.
“It’s like leaving high school and going to college. I got to go to Harvard,” McLellan told ESPN.com during a sit-down interview Wednesday. “The people around here, the tradition that exists, you’d walk into the coaches’ office after a game and it’s like the Hall of Fame, but they’re all there in person. To hear Scotty Bowman talk about his past, Stevie [Yzerman], Pat Verbeek, Mr. Howe, Mr. Lindsay, Mr. Delvecchio—they’re all around all the time. You can’t help but listen and learn. I was real fortunate that way.”
Wilson and McLellan had never met before they sat down for the interview in early June 2008. By then, the Sharks GM had spoken to 20 other candidates. It didn’t matter. Wilson was sold right then and there.
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