Oilers introduce McLellan as new head coach

Edmonton, AB (SportsNetwork.com) - The Edmonton Oilers announced the hiring of Todd McLellan as the franchise's 14th head coach on Tuesday.

According to the Edmonton Sun, McLellan was signed to a five-year deal.

McLellan spent the past seven seasons with the Sharks, but the two sides decided to part ways in April after the club failed to reach the playoffs for the first time during his tenure.

"We get to leave our mark. Everybody gets a fresh start," said the 47-year-old McLellan at his introductory news conference. "Having spent time with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle these past two weeks, they're very enticing and exciting to be around, and I'm looking forward to meeting the rest of them."

The Sharks completed the 2014-15 season with a 40-33-9 record, which was only good enough for fifth place in the Pacific Division and 12th in a competitive 14-team Western Conference.

Edmonton, meanwhile, finished sixth in the Pacific Division, but 27 points behind the Sharks after a 24-44-14 season. Dallas Eakins began the season as head coach, but was fired in mid-December after 31 games and replaced by Todd Nelson.

"Todd is a high-energy person and a high-level thinker who will work well and demand the most from our group," said Oilers president of hockey operations and general manager Peter Chiarelli. "He's the guy we wanted and I wanted to get on that in a hurry."

The Oilers haven't reached the postseason since 2006 when they made a stirring run to the Stanley Cup Finals. The nine-year playoff drought has brought an upheaval to the front office, as Chiarelli was installed at his position last month.

Chiarelli spent nine years in charge of the Boston Bruins and built a Stanley Cup winner in 2011. He'll have the first overall pick in the draft next month after the Oilers won the lottery, with the expected choice to be highly touted Connor McDavid.

"I want young players who are craving to win ... Your gut tells you when it's right," McLellan added. "Relationships and tactics. You have to be able to contribute in both areas in order to have success."

McLellan had an abundant amount of regular-season success during his time in San Jose. He led the franchise to six consecutive playoff berths from 2009-14, three 50-win seasons, three Pacific Division titles and a Presidents' Trophy in 2009.

However, the Sharks never seemed to be able to meet postseason expectations, falling in the first round on three separate occasions with trips to the Western Conference finals in 2010 and '11.

Nonetheless, McLellan left as the Sharks' franchise leader in wins (311), games coached (540) and points percentage (.637), with an overall record of 311-163-66.

McLellan most recently guided Canada to the gold medal at the just completed World Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic. The Canadians, with Oilers star Taylor Hall playing a prominent role, went undefeated during the tournament and captured the title for the first time since 2007.