You'd think, considering our serious hatred for anything and everyone associated with the Detroit Red Wings, that we fans of the Colorado Avalanche would be against hiring one of their assistant coaches for any job outside the Pepsi Center concession stands.
But you'd be wrong.
Todd McLellan, the mastermind behind Detroit's killer power play and an all-around solid coach, is apparently the top candidate for the head coaching job in Denver. And the fans are all for it. The Denver Post put McLellan up against Kevin Dineen, Ron Wilson and Tony Granato and it wasn't even close:
On a side note, Kevin Dineen has vowed to stay in the race despite his clear second-place finish and the numerical impossibility of him winning the poll.
McLellan also has the support of a former Avalanche defensmen, the impossible-to-pronounce-correctly-on-the-first-try Curtis Leschyshyn. Leschyshyn, now a competitive cyclist and a member of the early Avalanche team that won the Cup in 96, has been a friend of McLellan's for many years and even included the Wings assistant in his wedding party. He highly recommends hiring McLellan. According to him :
"That would be a very wise decision by the Avalanche," said Leschyshyn, who now is involved with the Littleton Youth Hockey Association. "He's ready to coach in the National Hockey League. He's a guy that didn't ever jump into something he wasn't prepared for. He's made sure that, along the way, he learned and experienced what it was going to take to be successful. That's why I think he'd be a tremendous guy for a team needing a coach."
Of course, McLellan can't talk to anybody until the Stanley Cup Finals are over and the Penguins beat the Red Wings. Then, I assume he will be one of the first candidates to sit down with Avalanche GM Francois Giguere. At least I hope so.
If the Avs can't (or won't) land Pat Burns, I have a feeling McLellan would be a fine choice.