The Edmonton Oilers have replaced their head coach.
Melville’s Todd McLellan was let go on Tuesday morning and was replaced by Ken Hitchcock who is the 3rd most winningest coach in NHL history.
The Oilers are 6th in the Pacific Division going into a game Tuesday night in San Jose and have once again underperformed on the season under McLellan’s watch although many believe it is General Manager Peter Chiarelli to blame for the team’s inadequacies not only this year, but last.
Edmonton lost 6-3 to Vegas on home ice Sunday night marking the 6th loss in seven games for the Oilers who begin play Tuesday six points out of a playoff spot.
Chiarelli told reporters he just didn’t like what he was seeing and that a change was needed.
“I saw some things that were resurfacing,” Chiarelli said. “Not an indictment on Todd, he’s a good man and he’s a very good coach and he’s going to be a very good coach in the league again. We had a weak start and then we had a real good stretch. I don’t think we over-achieved and then I saw some reversion back. This isn’t scientific, there is a sense and a feel when you talk to people. I saw levels of flatness, levels of non-response and when that happens, the radar goes up and we decided to act.”
Hitchcock is now the 8th head coach the Oilers have had in the last 10 years. He has also coached in Dallas, Philadelphia, Columbus, St. Louis and Dallas again before announcing his retirement last April. He won a Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999.