April 16 (UPI) — The Los Angeles Kings agreed to terms with Todd McLellan on a multiyear contract to become the franchise’s next head coach, the team announced Tuesday.
Sources told the Athletic that McLellan will receive a five-year contract worth about $5 million annually. He was also linked to the head coaching job with the Buffalo Sabres before joining the Kings.
McLellan replaces Willie Desjardins, who served as the Kings’ interim coach last season. Desjardins wasn’t retained by the team after the Kings slumped to the league’s second-worst record.
The Edmonton Oilers fired McLellan in November after a 9-10-1 start to the season. He previously led the Oilers to their first 100-point season since 1987 and their only playoff appearance since 2006. He coached the Oilers since the 2015-16 season after spending seven campaigns with the San Jose Sharks.
McLellan has a 434-282-90 career record in 806 regular-season games. He ranks 33rd in NHL history in victories and has reached the postseason in seven of his 10 full seasons as a head coach.
The Kings fired coach John Stevens after the team’s 4-8-1 beginning to last season. Desjardins was named Los Angeles’ interim coach in November and the Kings went 27-34-8 when he filled in.