Todd McLellan makes perfect sense as the next head coach for the Blue Jackets

Our list of coaching candidates had one obvious standout all along. Todd McLellan could be exactly what the doctor ordered for the young Blue Jackets.
NHL Global Series - Arizona Coyotes v Los Angeles Kings
NHL Global Series - Arizona Coyotes v Los Angeles Kings / Josh Chadwick/GettyImages

Last night, long-time ESPN anchor John Buccigross dropped a bit of a bombshell. Seemingly out of nowhere, he mentioned Todd McLellan as the likley front-runner to fill the head coach vacancy for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This makes so much sense, that I almost can't believe McLellan is the name that is popping up. Maybe it's the jaded fan in me from over the years, so used to disappointment. But, Bucci doesn't often speak out of turn, so there has to be something to this rumor.

I hope he's right, because McLellan would be perfect for this job...

The moment the Jackets relieved Pascal Vincent from his job as head coach, the first name that popped into my mind was Todd McLellan. Todd is a veteran coach, with 1,144 games behind an NHL bench (598 wins).

He coached the San Jose Sharks to three consecutive division titles in his first three years in the league (2008-09 through 2010-11). He spent a total of 7 years behind the bench for the Sharks, then went on to coach the Edmonton Oilers four 3 full seasons, before being fired part-way into his fourth year.

Next, he was hired by the LA Kings, who retained him into his 5th season; before firing him in February of this year.

He doesn't have a great track record in the playoffs, but his regular season teams have been mostly strong at each stop. For the Blue Jackets, this hiring would make a lot of sense, because McLellan is a veteran guy who doesn't have a lot of noise around him.

The best way of putting this is the simplest way: he's a dull hire. There's no flash, or glitz or glamour here. But, he checks the most important boxes for this team, at this time.

This is a coach who has a history of helping develop young talent and molding them into better all-around players. He coaches a structured defensive system. And, he has been behind the bench for some very successful teams.

Does that all sound good? It should, because that's exactly what this team needs. Quiet, calm, efficient hockey.

I really can't poke any holes in the theory behind hiring McLellan. He's the most obvious candidate, and that was the case from day one of this search. He would bring structure, accountability, and a calming influence to this young team.