Todd McLellan was asked what his plans were as he takes the reigns as the new head coach of the Edmonton Oilers.
“It’s going to go up. That’s what the plan is,” said McLellan. “It’s to take it up. It’s to take the organization and begin to climb the mountain. We have to chart our path to begin with. We have to determine what we want to be and how we want to look. We have to find the players within the organization right now — not going outside but in the organization — and put them in the right spots. With all of that, there’s pain. There’s nights we’re not going to be pleased. But there’s four teams that are playing right now that just experienced it, too. They have painful nights. They just have fewer of them. And that’s what we’re trying to do. Take those painful nights and diminish them throughout the years to the point where we can be at the top of the mountain.”
McLellan has high hopes for the franchise, but did want to temper expectations for next season.
“To come in and say hey we’re winning a Stanley Cup next year, that’s not the case. There’s some auxiliary pieces — and what I mean by auxiliary is not on the ice surface — that have been added. Bob’s obviously been named to oversee everything, Peter, myself. It’s been an exciting time for all of us.”
He was quick to point out that he knows that he will ultimately be judged on whether or not the organization can get on the winning track.
“The product on the ice — the wins and losses — still drive the organization. That’s how it is in any team. And we have to make sure that that product and those players are driving it upwards.
“There will be hills and valleys but over time it has to keep going upwards.”