With the Los Angeles Kings’ announcement today that interim coach Willie Desjardins will not return to the team, the Kings haven’t wasted any time in beginning their search for the next man to lead their team on the ice. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the Los Angeles Kings have asked the Edmonton Oilers for permission to interview former coach Todd McLellan.
When the announcement came out this morning, The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman reported that the team was already working on a coaching hire, but nothing was imminent. However, the request and rumors around the league suggest that it’s McLellan that the team wants to bring in as their head coach.
McLellan has put together a solid coaching resume with a 434-282-90 record, including seven seasons with the San Jose Sharks and another three and a half seasons with the Oilers before he was dismissed on Nov. 20th this season. However, despite taking an impressive Sharks team to the Conference Finals in his second and third seasons with San Jose, McLellan has struggled throughout the playoffs, totaling a 37-38 record. His most recent tenure had some success in his second season when Edmonton got to the second-round of the playoffs in the 2016-17 season and looked like an up-and-coming team, but he wasn’t able to duplicate that afterwards. Of course with much of the blame of the Oilers placed on McLellan, Ken Hitchcock was not able to right the ship either, with the eventual blame going to now former-general manager Peter Chiarelli.
There are also rumors that the team will consider current assistant coach Marco Sturm, who the team had interest in developing into their future coach.