Is Todd McLellan the Edmonton Oilers’ man?

Todd McLellan2

Edmonton’s coaching situation is obviously the item at the top of G.M. Peter Chiarelli’s to-do list, and it appears he isn’t wasting any time. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Oilers are in hot pursuit of Todd McLellan, and the team hasn’t let up despite the fact that Detroit’s Mike Babcock is now testing the market.

Babcock, obviously, is the most attractive candidate on the coaching market. He’s had regular season success, playoff success and success internationally. With that said, there are certain advantages to hiring McLellan that don’t necessarily come with hiring Babcock.

The first, obviously, is timing. Friedman also tweeted that Babcock would want to visit the city of any team interested in hiring him; since he won’t be back in North America for better than a week and he’s going to have interest from multiple clubs it could be some time before he signs on the dotted line. 

Additionally, Babcock may or may not leave the Red Wings. McLellan doesn’t have a job at the moment; teams talking to him know he’s going to sign on with someone. That isn’t necessarily the case with Babcock. 

There is also the matter of draft pick compensation. Hiring Babcock will cost a team a third-round pick at some point over the next three drafts. That may or may not be the case with McLellan, who had one year left on his deal when he and the Sharks mutually agreed to part ways, but there’s at least a chance that San Jose waives it’s right to compensation, particularly since they’ll be looking to add a coach this summer too.

Mike Babcock3

Perhaps most critical of all is the exact role the new coach will be taking on. Babcock, as befits his status as the belle of the ball, is in a position to demand all sorts of concessions. That, obviously, is going to include a massive pile of money, but one wonders if he’s also going to ask for some hand in hockey operations, similar to the setup in Colorado where Patrick Roy is both head coach and vice president of hockey operations.  

McLellan is, of course, an excellent coach in his own right, even if his career achievements don’t match those of Babcock. Doubtless, he’ll do a fine job, and he’s available more quickly, more cheaply and more definitely than his old boss from his time in Detroit. 

There’s no wrong answer here. 


  • YFC Prez

    Either way for the Oilers it’s a win, I just hope they make one last, final push on Babcock to see if they can get him to sign quickly.

    What Babcock did at the last two Olympics, in particular Sochi, is nothing short of phenomenal. To get such disciplined play, such commitment to two-way hockey from star players, to get the stars on the 4th line to buy in and not coast. That’s something.

    And if he has to hesitate and look at the other options he has – Philly, Toronto, Buffalo, San Jose, and of course Detroit – rather than see destiny in Edmonton, that’s his loss. A Todd McLellan Oilers group is much more likely to be a winner than a Mike Babcock Sabres. If his principles about taking the time to fly out and see the cities and not sign until it’s almost June hold him back, it’s more his loss than ours.

  • rayrayjj

    Got to jump right now and get Mclellan, can wait on Babcock and lose Mclellan, Who knows if Mclellan coached the Olympic team that he could have won gold to, Babcock hasn’t done nothing since Mclellan left the wings and Mclellan has built the sharks as the top western franchise just no playoff luck but Wilson was a big part of that team falling apart,not Mclellan, burns in his interview said Mclellan was a great coach,Hall and Ebs both said he is a great coach and would love him for a coach so that’s 2 of our stars that have bounded to Mclellan already, Mclellan is gonna be our next coach,I take him over Babcock any day of the month,he will change the Edmonton oilers into a winning team and maybe we even turns us into a playoff team!!!

  • Teeeb

    The Oilers need to get Mclellan. His offensive style will mesh well with the way this team is built. If they hold out to see where Babcock lands, Mclellan may sign else where and we could end up having to pound sand.

  • YFC Prez

    I can’t believe we are talking about getting the best coach or the second best in the league today, the best player possibly ever in the draft and the top college goalie probably going to sign here. And, every free agent will have the Oilers at the very top of their wish list.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Can someone enlighten me as to what makes Todd McClellan such a desiirable choice to replace Todd Nelson as head coach of the Oilers?
    His teams that dominated regular season play over the past years were either eliminated in the first round or won exactly one game in the 2 times they made the conference finals..
    Apart from the one time Detroit cup win as an assistant coach his teams have failed miserably under playoff pressure despite some very good players with the likes of Thornton,Marleau,Couture ,Kobelski,Burns ,Niemi ,etc.
    Just what is it that makes him such a great choice?

    • BobbyCanuck

      Ohhh I dont know Captain, maybe its the fact that he has actually coached more than one year in the Big League’s as opposed to say never like the Oilers last coachs’…oh and San Jose has always been at the top of the Conference in wins and goals scored…etc etc….small obvious stuff like that I guess.

  • rayrayjj

    I sure hope Edmonton jumps on mclellan and don’t wait,I see Mclellan a better fit in Edmonton than Babcock is,If I’m you peter I break of Katz’s check book and make him sign on the dotted line, Mclellan is the best man for the job in Edmonton..

  • BobbyCanuck

    Mclellan is our man, Babcock is a defensive minded coach and not that we couldnt use some defense but Chiarelli will need to make some moves to shore that up.We are a 5-4 team not a 2-1

  • Old Soldier

    I have no idea how to determine who is a better coach among all the candidates, I don’t have any special insight into the process, all I care about is getting the best fit for the team, now, and moving on to the next issue.

    It would be disappointing if the team lost the opportunity to hire a good/great coach simply because they hoped something better might be available later….this team has been stringing everyone along on “hope” and “maybe” and “what if” long enough. I was very impressed with the no pissing around hiring of Chiarelli….and if they did the same with McLellan I don’t think that Oilernation would revolt …. especially if it meant being able to check off another box and move on….scouting, pro scouting, drafting, UFA’s, trades…..

    It’s time this team starting leading the pack, not following others leavings……