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The Cost of Todd McLellan

The Oilers announced today the hiring of Todd McLellan who most recently coached team Canada to the gold metal at the Mens World Hockey Championships and prior to that coached the San Jose Sharks for 7 seasons. The hiring does come at a price however as San Jose has the right and apparently is going to exercise that right to receive a 3rd draft pick from the Oilers as compensation. Even though San Jose fired McLellan at the end of the regular season he has one year left on his contract which gives the team the right to compensation. As far as I understand it the Oilers have the ability to wait up to 3 years to give up the pick.

Honestly this rule makes little sense to me, if San Jose fired the coach they shouldn’t have any right to claim compensation if the coach signs with another team.

More On McLellan

In the seven years McLellan has been the head coach of the Sharks they have been a dominant team in the regular season and were consistently one of the best teams in the league with the man advantage. In todays press conference McLellan was asked about the lack of success his team had in the playoffs while he was head coach and his response was that he felt they had a lot of success but were defeated by great teams some of which went on the win the Stanley cup. In the six years that McLellans Sharks were knocked out of the playoffs they lost to these teams:

Year Team that beat the Sharks Result
2009 Anaheim Ducks 1st Round Anaheim lost to Detroit in round 2
2010 Chicago Blackhawks Conference Final Chicago won the Stanley cup
2011 Vancouver Canucks Conference Final Vancouver lost to the Bruins in the finals
2012 St Louis Blues 1st Round STL lost to LA in the 2nd round
2013 LA Kings in 2nd round LA lost to CHI in conference final
2014 LA Kings in 1st round LA won the Stanley cup

They did lose to some really good teams and twice those teams went on to win the Stanley cup but in 62 games the Sharks had 30 wins and 32 loses. I would call the Sharks performance in the playoffs a disappointment under McLellan but it sure beats what the Oilers have been doing for the past 9 years. I’m really excited to see how the team performs under McLellan and if the World Championship tournament is any indication he’s sure to get a lot of production out of Hall and Eberle who were both among the tournament scoring leaders.

How Much Longer Is This Gonna Take?

The new faces in the Oilers front office clearly don’t want to give any timelines for the Oilers making the playoffs but it has to be a goal to at least be in the fight next season. The team will be better by adding Connor McDavid at the draft and I think Todd McLellan is an upgrade behind the bench, its up to Peter Chiarelli to find the right Goalie and Defensemen to push this team in the right direction.