Todd McLellan has interviewed for the coaching job with the Edmonton Oilers, according to the Edmonton Sun.
The former San Jose Sharks coach, coaching Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic, told the newspaper he has met with Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli during the tournament. Chiarelli also met with Oilers players taking part in the tournament and has traveled to Arizona for scouting meetings, according to the Sun.
"You don’t know what he’s thinking, but I saw Peter Chiarelli," Oilers forward Taylor Hall, playing for Canada, told the Sun in remarks published Friday. "I don't know if they interviewed, but he’s a great coach. I have a ton of respect for what he teaches and I've learned a lot so far."
Though refusing to discuss how the interview went, McLellan said in general terms that Edmonton would be a desirable location for any coach.
"Edmonton has always been an interesting spot for many people, I think," McLellan told the Sun. "It's a team with a rich history and they have some good players there. Now you add in [potential No. 1 2015 NHL Draft pick Connor] McDavid, Bob [Nicholson, Oilers CEO] taking over and Peter coming in. 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 in Connor McDavid's year make it enticing."
McLellan and the Sharks mutually parted April 20. In seven seasons, he was 311-163-66, coached the Sharks into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in his first six seasons, and reached the Western Conference Final in 2010 and 2011. This season, the Sharks finished with 89 points, 10 points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the West.
"I've been impressed," said Oilers forward Jordan Eberle, also playing for Canada. “In a short-term event like this, sometimes the coaches can be a little lighthearted, but so far McLellan has been on track and on the ball every step of the way.
"... I have nothing but positive things to say so far. ... Hopefully he's one of the candidates. I look forward to see what's going to happen there."
Chiarelli, who was hired April 24, has not committed to bringing back coach Todd Nelson, who took over after Dallas Eakins was fired Dec. 15. TSN reported Thursday Nelson will interview for the job.