The Kings have their new head coach.
Los Angeles announced Tuesday it has hired former Oilers head coach Todd McLellan to the same position.
🚨 The LA Kings have agreed to terms on a multi-year contract for Todd McLellan to serve as the Kings new head coach 🚨https://t.co/dyNNKAasbk
— LA Kings (@LAKings) April 16, 2019
Edmonton was 9-10-1 this season when it 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 semifinals in 2016-17, but the team underwhelmed in his last year and a half with the organization and he was replaced by Ken Hitchcock on Nov. 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 Nov. 4 after a lackluster start to its season. Willie Desjardins was put in charge in the interim.
In fairness to McLellan, while the team struggled to win, the goalie situation wasn’t great after the Oilers lost to the Ducks in the conference semis in 2016-17.
In addition to that, Edmonton general manager Peter Chiarelli was fired Jan. 23, as well, which was a testament to the failure of how the team was 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 and a couple of pieces here and there, but there is a ways to go before the team is once again competing for the Stanley Cup.
Fortunately for McLellan, the Kings have the No. 5 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 $5 million per season.
We’re told McLellan’s 5-year deal with the Kings is believed to be worth as much as $5M per year if he hits all bonuses.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) April 16, 2019
McLellan previously coached the Sharks from 2008-15.