Maple Leafs Job Fair: Todd McLellan’s Resume

Aside from Mike Babcock, Todd McLellan might be the sexiest coach on the open market.  No, not literally sexy.  Figuratively.  As in, Todd McLellan is a pretty good hockey coach.  Let’s take a closer look at everything that he brings to the table:


Looking to take on a new job as the head coach of an NHL team, preferably one that has the foresight to block me from making any decisions revolving around team captaincy.


Head Coach of Team Canada (Current) (World Championships)

Look, I’d love to be the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  But if you guys would just give me another week or two, I’m a little busy with something.

Head Coach of the San Jose Sharks (2008-2015) (NHL)

During my time as Sharks head coach we had three 50 win seasons, won three Pacific Division titles, went to the Western Conference Finals two times, and won a Presidents Trophy as well.  As a team, our underlying numbers were strong too.  During my tenure as San Jose’s coach we had a 52.3% Corsi, a 54.0 ScoringChancesFor%, a 31.1 ShotsForPer60, and a 28.1 ShotsAgainstPer60.  These numbers are among the very best in the league over this time-span.  It didn’t end well in San Jose and we didn’t win the Cup either, but all things considered we were a really, really good team.

Assistant Coach for the Detroit Red Wings (2005-2008) (NHL)

Getting to spend three years working with some of the game’s brightest minds in Mike Babcock and Ken Holland really set me up for a lot of my future success in San Jose.  As an organization, our hard work was rewarded when we won the Stanley Cup in 2008, my final season with the team before being named the Sharks head coach.

Head Coach of the Houston Aeros (2001-2005) (AHL)

We made the playoffs every year I served as the coach of the Aeros.  On top of that, we were Calder Cup champions in 2003.

Head Coach of the Cleveland Lumberjacks (2000-2001) (IHL)

Before the Houston Aeros, this was the Minnesota Wild’s original farm team.  Among the players I coached this season was the undrafted Pascal Dupuis, who after the 00-01 season never played in a league lower than the NHL again (aside of course from the season we lost to the lockout).

Head Coach and General Manager of the Swift Current Broncos (1994-2000) (WHL)

Brent Sopel, Michal Rozsival, Ben Ondrus, Brad Larsen, Josh Green, Ladislav Kohn, Lawrence Nycholat – not the sexiest group of names by any stretch.  But I coached each of these players during my time in Swift Current and would like to think I helped play a small role in helping them get to the NHL.

Head Coach of the North Battleford North Stars (1993-1994) (SJHL)



  • Three-time Pacific Division champ
  • 2009 Jack Adams Award nominee
  • 2009 President’s Trophy winner
  • 2009 NHL All-Star Game Coach (Western Conference)
  • 2008 Stanley Cup champion (Detroit Red Wings)
  • 2003 Calder Cup champion (AHL)
  • 2000 WHL Coach of the Year
  • 1997 WHL Executive of the Year
  • Time Magazine Person of the Year, 2006



Todd McLellan is a lousy marriage counselor, but he’s a great hockey coach.  Say what you want about how ugly things seemed to have gotten between him and the Sharks players by the end of his tenure there, but he did last 7 full seasons, which is a lot longer than most coaches.  The Sharks were among the league’s elite for most of McLellan’s time there.  Yes, he had a lot of really good players to work with.  But he clearly deserves a lot of praise as well.  Somewhere in between the two extremes of being a “players coach” and, for lack of a better word, a hardass, McLellan’s teams play an attacking, puck possession style that I think most people, including the Leafs’ front office itself, would like to see the team play.  I’m not sure whether the Leafs are looking to hire a coach like Todd McLellan who is a more of a “win-now” type or whether the team wants more of a developmental players coach that can help the team transition during their rebuilding phase.  If they’re looking for the former, though, McLellan belongs on the short list of candidates.  The biggest thing getting in the Leafs way here might just be the Edmonton Oilers, who are rumored to be heavily interested in the services of McLellan.  It doesn’t help that he’s working closely with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle at the World Championships right now.  In any event, McLellan is a really good coach and the Leafs would be immediately improved if he were to land in Toronto.

Other Resumes We’ve Received:

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  • silentbob

    Personally I do not like this applicant to coach the Leafs at this point in time. He appears to have had an experienced lineup in the past and with the Leafs being filled with prospects and rookies for the next few years we need a teacher as much as a coaching strategist.

    • Shawn Reis

      He does have a solid track record with younger players though. Logan Couture, Devin Setoguchi, Jason Demers, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Tomas Hertl, Matt Nieto…