According to Elliotte Friedman, the Oilers will be hiring Todd McLellan as their new head coach “barring a major collapse.”
Friedman appeared on the Brady & Walker radio show and announced that the Oilers have apparently found their man. From that interview:
…if Todd McLellan is the coach, and I think he will be, you don’t want to make the announcement while he’s coaching in Prague. You want to do it when he’s back in Edmonton. Look, there are people who are a lot more knowledgeable than I am who think that the deal is going to get done. So that’s kind of what I base it on. I think it’s going to get done barring a major collapse.
This announcement comes only days after Friedman broke news that the Oilers had not even spoken to Detroit’s Ken Holland about permission to speak to Mike Babcock. Yesterday, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun commented that the Oilers wanted to wrap up their coaching search by the end of the month and it looks like they have done that.
From where I sit, this was a smart decision for the Oilers to make. There was no guarantee that they would be able to sign Babcock and waiting around for him could have caused them to miss out on a very good coach in Todd McLellan. McLellan may not have Babcock’s shining resume, but he is no slouch on the bench. He will far and away be the most experienced coach the Oilers have had since MacT and Pat Quinn.
Will Mclellan be the right fit? We’ll have to wait and see, but if Friedman’s information is true (and I think it is) then this is another great day for the Oilers. Frankly, I’m still in disbelief that any of this is actually happening!
More to come…