Article

Kings hire former Sharks, Oilers coach McLellan

April 17 2019 1:57 AM

The Los Angeles Kings have their new head coach, hiring Todd McLellan.

Los Angeles announced on Tuesday they have hired former Edmonton Oilers head coach McLellan to the same position.

Edmonton were 9-10-1 this season when they fired McLellan.

McLellan did help lead the Oilers back to the playoffs for the first time in 11 years when Edmonton went to the conference semi-finals in 2016-17, but the team underwhelmed in his last year and a half with the organisation and he was replaced by Ken Hitchcock on November 20.

Only one team in the Western Conference finished the season with less points than Edmonton (79). That was the Kings (71).

Los Angeles fired coach John Stevens on November 4 after a lacklustre start to their season. Willie Desjardins was put in charge in the interim.

Edmonton general manager Peter Chiarelli was fired on January 23, which was a testament to the failure of how the team were built rather than just who was coaching it.

Aside from Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers had some disappointing high picks in the draft under Chiarelli and were never really able to find another center to spell McDavid on the team's lower lines.

McLellan will enter a similar situation to what he had in Edmonton with the Kings as he has a former Hart Trophy candidate in Anze Kopitar, but there is a way to go before the team are once again competing for the Stanley Cup.

Fortunately for McLellan, the Kings have the fifth pick in this year's draft to add some talent.

Los Angeles gave McLellan a pretty good vote of confidence with his contract as he reportedly agreed to a five-year deal worth as much as $5million per season.

McLellan previously coached the San Jose Sharks from 2008-15.

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