The Kings have head coach Todd McLellan at the top of their wish list for next season, reports Sportsnet’s Mark Spector. Interim bench boss Willie Desjardins is not likely to return for the 2019-20 campaign. McLellan was let go by Edmonton earlier this season following a 9-10-1 start to their season but had plenty of success in his first stint back in San Jose. There will likely be other teams on the lookout for a new head coach in the coming weeks so expect the 51-year-old to garner some interest from elsewhere as well next month.
More notes from the Pacific Division:
- Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has had his skating schedule scaled back as he continues to work his way back from a groin injury, notes Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News. Instead of skating daily, he’s now hitting the ice every second day which suggests his return is further away than expected. San Jose has already clinched a playoff spot and appears to be locked into a matchup with Vegas so they can afford to be cautious but they also would undoubtedly feel better if he had some game action before the postseason gets underway. Meanwhile, Pashelka adds that center Joe Pavelski, who has missed four straight games due to a lower-body injury, is progressing in his recovery and could be available for their game on Thursday against Chicago.
- The Oilers are in discussions with prospect John Marino, reports Postmedia’s Jim Matheson. The defenseman was a sixth-round pick (154th overall) back in 2015 and is just finishing up his junior year at Harvard, a team that is participating in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Although he still has a year of college eligibility remaining, he’s also eligible for August 15th free agency as it has been four years since he has been drafted.