The Edmonton Oilers are going to interview every possible candidate available to find their next head coach but it look like former San Jose Sharks bench boss Todd McLellan is the man they have their eye on.
McLellan Has A Strong Track Record
The good news is that if the Oilers get their man, he’s got a strong track record and these could eventually affect the NHL betting odds. The Oilers have tried to roll the dice on some guys recently, trying to go with Tom Renney, Ralph Krueger and Dallas Eakins. The latter two in particular were boom-or-bust guys who busted. However, McLellan is a respected individual with a strong track record. The Sharks have won at least 48 games in four of his six seasons (not including the lockout-shortened season). They were in the playoffs in six of his seven years on the job and they got to the conference finals twice. Although San Jose was hoping for more, Edmonton would sacrifice their own soul for a playoff appearance right about now.
The Oilers Are Relying On Experience
Not only are the Oilers relying on experience if they hire McLellan, they’re also relying on experience with the hiring of Peter Chiarelli, who is the President of Hockey Operations and General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers. Chiarelli was dumped by the Boston Bruins after they had one bad year to follow up about six successful ones, so the Oilers have the right man in position. He’s one of the shrewdest front office personnel out there. With him and McLellan in place, it finally feels like the Oilers would have not only savvy minds on the jobs but two men who have the experience of winning. The Oilers aren’t just throwing darts at the board anymore; they are relying on experience.
From The Basement, To The Main Floor
Although McLellan failed to get the San Jose Sharks over the hump, the truth is that they were still a perennial contender. Yes, the Sharks got tired of basic playoff appearances but the Oilers have a much lower standard. They are just looking for baby steps: a .500 record, some optimism and maybe a push for a playoff berth. McLellan is the man to do it.
And as far as Chiarelli goes, he’s got plenty to work with. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov and of course the first overall pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, Connor McDavid, the Oilers should be one of the most exciting teams in the league…assuming McLellan can unlock the potential.
Is there work to do elsewhere? Of course. The Oilers still need a goaltender and plenty of help on the blue line. However, McLellan has already shown that he can turn so-so teams into something solid. Can they win a championship with him? Probably not. There are lots of coaches who can bring you to the dance but won’t win Prom King, so to speak. But for the Oilers, McLellan is exactly what they need right now and along with Chiarelli, they’ll change the losing culture; so maybe we might consider them for our NHL picks in the future. Maybe.