Rumors of former Sharks coach Todd McLellan being hired by the Edmonton Oilers heightened Monday with a Sportsnet report the organization would confirm McLellan's hiring this week.
The 47-year-old McLellan served as Sharks coach for the past seven seasons, but parted ways with the organization after San Jose missed the playoffs for the first time in a decade. However, his coaching record (311-163-66) with the Sharks made him one of the most sought-after bench bosses this off-season, and the Oilers' revamped front office (which also includes new president-GM Peter Chiarelli) will lead to a justifiable increase in optimism among beleaguered Edmonton fans. Along with Chiarelli and soon-to-be-an-Oiler and junior hockey superstar Connor McDavid, the trio will be the most important new faces in town – and all three will be under considerable pressure to turn around a franchise that hasn't made a playoff appearance in nine seasons.
McLellan, who coached Team Canada to a gold medal victory at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, replaces interim coach Todd Nelson behind the Oilers bench. The Melville, Sask., native won't be far from home in Edmonton, but if he and the newly-revamped Oilers don't show significant improvement in a relatively short span of time, he may find it doesn't feel like home.