Oilers highlight an already impressive offseason of coaching hires

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If the Edmonton Oilers did nothing else, it would already be one of their most impressive offseasons in franchise history. Watching new GM Peter Chiarelli and new coach Todd McLellan sit side by side and answer questions during their May 19 news conference to introduce McLellan, the coach drove home the notion that this was a new reality in Edmonton.

It was also the news conference that set off coach hiring around the NHL.

Since 2010, the GM on the left had won a Stanley Cup, reached another Stanley Cup final and assembled a team that won the Presidents’ Trophy. The coach on the right had just won a world championship gold medal, has more wins than any coach in Sharks franchise history and still holds the record for most wins as a coach during his first four seasons behind the bench (195).

The comments coming from both were even better. There were no huge promises or hollow proclamations about how each man on stage knew how to win. Just a calm, articulate explanation of the process and the approach they will take together as Chiarelli and McLellan get to know each other better and get to know exactly what they’re walking into.

“We’re both in it together here, brand-new, and I think that’s a good thing,” McLellan said.