Oilers to hire Todd McLellan as head coach, an update on Eugene Melnyk and the latest on the Canadiens and Maple Leafs.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Several sources claim the Oilers are expected to announce Todd McLellan as their new head coach. McLellan coached the San Jose Sharks from 2008 until 2015. He recently guided Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championships.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While some Oilers fans might be disappointed their club didn’t land Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock, McLellan is an excellent hire. The Sharks reached the playoffs (including two Conference Finals appearances) in every year but one under McLellan, who is highly regarded around the NHL. True, McLellan failed to guide the Sharks to a championship, but his experience could be just what the rebuilding Oilers need. Edmonton forwards Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle were part of this year’s gold-medal winning Canadian team at the Worlds and they sang McLellan’s praises.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk released a statement thanking people for their tremendous support. Melnyk is currently awaiting a life-saving emergency liver transplant. Over 500 applications were received from potential donors. “Since the announcement of my situation became public last week, I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the public and the media. It is truly heartwarming to feel loved by so many people,” said Melnyk. Doctors are hopeful Melnyk will under transplant surgery by the end of this week.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Based on Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin’s end-of-season press conference, Jack Todd doesn’t expect significant changes for the Habs this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In which case, it’ll be another season of the Canadiens having lousy puck-possession, offensive and defensive numbers riding Carey Price’s stellar goaltending into a playoff berth, only to once again fall short when their anemic offense catches up with them. Given Bergevin’s ability to swing surprising deal (see every trade made since the Vanek deal last season), I believe the Habs GM realizes he must at least try to bolster his offense this summer. I don’t expect him to just sit on his hands this summer.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons recently wondered how much draft-pick compensation Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan is willing to pay to land an established general manager and/or coach currently under contract with other clubs.