Todd McLellan on the move. Next stop, Edmonton?

Todd McLellan  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

There are some coaches who, after losing or leaving an NHL job, need time to decompress and recharge their batteries before they start working again. Todd McLellan is clearly not one of those people. This Friday he’ll leave for Prague to coach Canada in the World Championship, then sit back and field offers the way Brad Richards did four years ago.

And those offers will come. From Toronto, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Edmonton and, depending on what his mentor Mike Babcock decides on his own future, perhaps Detroit. But Todd McLellan, who mutually agreed with the San Jose Sharks to part ways with one year left on his deal, will coach in the NHL next season.

“I’m a coach,” McLellan said on a conference call Monday afternoon. “I want to coach.” Read more

Sabres fire Ted Nolan, but don’t blame the coach for not making lemonade out of a lemon tsunami

Adam Proteau
Ted Nolan (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Buffalo Sabres fired head coach Ted Nolan early Sunday evening, ending the former Jack Adams Award-winner’s second stint with the organization after nearly two full NHL seasons:

The 57-year-old’s Sabres squad was the NHL’s worst team this season with a 23-51-8 mark, but pinning all or most of the blame on Nolan for that would be like faulting a NASCAR driver for not being able to steer a shopping cart to a championship title. Some coaches can make lemonade out of lemons, but Nolan was made to stand in front of a lemon tsunami and asked to compete as his 29 other NHL colleagues do. Read more

New Leafs coach must be hired based on on-ice philosophy, not NHL resume or familiarity factor

Claude Julien (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

With interim coach Peter Horachek included in team president Brendan Shanahan’s housecleaning Sunday, the Maple Leafs are going to have their fourth bench boss in three years by the time the 2015-16 season begins. And although it’s tempting for Leafs fans to speculate on and salivate over some of the names expected to be available, Toronto’s next hire doesn’t have to have a familiarity factor with fans in order for it to be right. The next head coach of the Leafs just has to have the right on-ice philosophy – one based on teaching and patience – to put the franchise back on track.

It will be tempting for Shanahan and whomever he hires as GM (if he doesn’t take that role himself) to be dazzled by the slew of accomplished coaches who’ll apply for the position, but the problem with those types of coaches can be they’re far more interested in winning now than they are in developing the young talent Toronto will placing its organizational bets on in the years to come. Read more

Maple Leafs fire GM Dave Nonis, interim coach Peter Horachek after disastrous season

Jared Clinton
Dave Nonis

Following one of the most disastrous seasons in franchise history, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced Sunday afternoon the firing of both GM Dave Nonis and interim coach Peter Horachek.

Nonis, who has been the Maple Leafs GM since January 2013 and had worked for the club since December 2008, was in part responsible for the Toronto team that made the playoffs in the 2013 season. However, the team failed to recapture the success they achieved in the lockout-shortened season in subsequent campaigns. The year after their crushing seventh game defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins in 2012-13, the Maple Leafs finished sixth in the Atlantic Division and followed if up with a seventh place finish this season. Read more