Todd McLellan’s focus right now is on coaching Team Canada in the 2015 World Championships, but he did admit that he’s had an interview with new Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli while they’re both in Prague, per the Edmonton Sun.
In fact, the Sun thinks that interview was Chiarelli’s primary motivation for making the journey to Europe. While he’s there though, he’s also met with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Anton Lander, and Oscar Klefbom.
McLellan, who has a career 311-163-66 record, mutually parted ways with the Sharks after San Jose failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2003. It’s believed that other teams are also interested in his services, including the Buffalo Sabres. At the end of the day though, whether or not he’s teams’ top choice might be dependent on what Mike Babcock decides to do next. The highly regarded Detroit Red Wings coach has the option to become a free agent this summer.
The coaching market might remain at a standstill until Babcock announces what his plans are, but in the meantime McLellan has made his interest in the Oilers clear.
“It’s a team with a rich history and they have some good players there. Now you add in McDavid, Bob (Nicholson) taking over and Peter (Chiarelli) coming in,” McLellan said. “I really do think there were good people there before. What job descriptions they end up in, I’m not sure. But there will be a very strong team and group of people there.
“For any coach to consider all of that, it has to be a positive. It has to be exciting, not just for myself but for anybody. With all those good players there, it will eventually get going the right way. I think some of the changes and the No. 1 draft pick on Connor McDavid’s year make it enticing.”
Report: Former Lightning coach Boucher has been contacted by NHL teams
After losing back-to-back games against Minnesota and Chicago, Los Angeles needed a win tonight against Edmonton. The Kings achieved that in 20 minutes. The remainder of the game was just for fun.
Los Angeles earned a 8-2 victory over Edmonton.
Every single Kings forward recorded at least a point with the lone exception of Nick Shore. Every Los Angeles player had a plus-one rating or better aside from Trevor Lewis, Dustin Brown, and Jarret Stoll. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Anton Lander were the only Oilers players to finish the contest with a plus/minus rating that wasn’t minus-one or lower.
Ben Scrivens got the start for Edmonton, turning aside 16 of 21 shots before being taken out of the contest. Already down 5-1 through 40 minutes, 23-year-old goaltender Tyler Bunz, who has played in just eight career AHL games, was asked to make his NHL debut against the defending Stanley Cup champions on a night where they were both hungry and clicking.
That went about as well as expected.
The idle Winnipeg Jets dropped their last two games and thanks to that the Kings’ victory tonight was enough for them to jump into the second Wild Card spot. Both squads have 90 points in 77 games, but Los Angeles has a comfortable lead in the tiebreaker ROW.
Winnipeg will have to wait until Saturday’s game against Vancouver for its chance to respond.
Quite the campaign for Anton Lander.
The 23-year-old Oilers forward, who was put on waivers prior to the start of the regular season, has signed a two-year extension with Edmonton, the club announced on Thursday.
Per Sportsnet, the deal is worth $1.97M, good for an average annual cap hit of $985,000. Lander’s currently on a deal that pays $600,000 annually.
The Oilers’ second-round pick (40th overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Lander struggled to find his niche during his first three years in the league but has enjoyed something of a new life under interim bench boss Todd Nelson, scoring six goals and 17 points in 33 games since becoming a lineup fixture in January.
Lander is also averaging 14:50 TOI per game, which is a career-high.