The Los Angeles Kings have hired Todd McLellan as their new head coach. McLellan most recently served as the Edmonton Oilers head coach until he was fired in his fourth year with the club on November 20th, 2018.
🚨 The LA Kings have agreed to terms on a multi-year contract for Todd McLellan to serve as the Kings new head coach 🚨https://t.co/dyNNKAasbk
— LA Kings (@LAKings) April 16, 2019
Los Angels Kings Hire Todd McLellan
Over his 11 year career, McLellan has spent time with the San Jose Sharks and the Oilers. Over that span, he’s posted a career record of 434-282-90 in 806 games.
In his most recent stint in Edmonton, McLellan posted a record of 123-119-24 in 266 games.
The Kings will be looking to put a disastrous season behind them as they finished 30th in the league with a 31-42-9 record. Previous head coach John Stevens took over for Darryl Sutter in 2017. He took the Kings to the first round of the playoffs in his first season where they were then swept by the Vegas Golden Knights. Things did not get better in his second season as the Kings started off 4-8-1 and Stevens was fired.
Willie Desjardins took over for Stevens and was given the green light for the rest of the season. His six-month tenure saw the team go on to a 27-34-8 record. Lineup mismanagement became one of the biggest issues as the season went on.
The team preferred to bring in an established coach. It was believed they reached out to Alain Vigneault when Stevens was fired. Vigneault would go on to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers this past Monday. They will still be getting an established coach, though, in Todd McLellan.
What This Means For The Future
His firing in Edmonton may have been a bit premature, as former GM Peter Chiarelli stripped him of some of the talents he had during his run in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Oilers were just a win away from reaching the Western Conference finals that season. The next year, they finished amongst the leagues worst. McLellan ultimately paid for Chiarelli’s mistakes, but now the Kings are reaping the benefits.
In McLellan, the Kings are getting a veteran bench boss who has coached teams to success in the past. McLellan has been to the Western Conference finals twice with San Jose, as well as two conference semi-finals appearances between the Oilers and Sharks.
The club is also getting a coach who has shown the ability to work with both veteran and younger players. He coached Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns in San Jose while coaching superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton. A lot of times coaches do well with one or the other. However, McLellan has shown the ability to be able to work with and develop both.
The Kings will hope McLellan is able to get the best out of veterans like Ilya Kovalchuk who wasn’t put into the best situations during his first year back in the NHL. Youth will be on display as well with players such as Austin Wagner and Carl Grundstrom showing they have the skill to be here.
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