Stop us if you've heard this before: the Los Angeles Kings, led by a general manager who has Sharks ties, hired a former San Jose head coach to the same position.
The Kings announced Tuesday they hired ex-Sharks head coach Todd McLellan to replace interim head coach Willie Desjardins, who took over for John Stevens, who was fired by the Kings in November. McLellan's contract with Los Angeles reportedly is worth up to $25 million over five years, sources told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun.
McLellan has signed a five-year contract worth around $25 million depending on bonuses. But ball park is around $5 M per year on average according to sources https://t.co/9kdT5HjzXg— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 16, 2019
McLellan coached the Sharks from 2008-2015, leading San Jose to six playoff appearances in seven years. He compiled a 311-163-66 record in the regular season, and the Sharks made two appearances in the Western Conference Final in 2010 and 2011 McLellan was Rob Blake's coach in the first of those berths, and Blake -- the Kings' general manger -- is now McLellan's boss.
After parting ways with San Jose, McLellan coached the Edmonton Oilers for parts of four seasons. He was fired in November after going 123-119-24 behind the Edmonton bench in the regular season. McLellan led the Oilers to one playoff appearance in 2016-17.
The 51-year-old was behind the Sharks' bench in Stanley Cup playoff losses to the Kings in 2013 and 2014. In the latter instance, San Jose blew a 3-0 series lead in the first round to Los Angeles and the Kings went on to win the Stanley Cup. Those Kings, of course, also had Sharks ties behind the bench and in the front office.
Dean Lombardi -- San Jose's general manager from 1996-2003 -- and Darryl Sutter -- San Jose's head coach from 1997-2002 -- served in the same positions in Los Angeles. Both are long gone from the Kings' front office, but the Sharks' rivals are hoping a similar approach aids their push back into relevance.
But these Kings aren't on the precipice of contention as they were during the Sutter-Lombardi reunion. LA has missed the playoffs in three of the last five seasons, and finished with the NHL's second-worst record (31-42-9) in 2018-19.
The Kings have a long road back to the league's elite, and they're banking on a pair of ex-Sharks to lead them there.