Edmonton Oilers coach Todd McLellan named head coach of Team North America
Team North America, a World Cup team filled with American and Canadian stars under the age of 23, will have Edmonton Oilers' coach Todd McLellan at the helm.
The NHL and the NHL's Players Association (NHLPA) appointed McLellan as the coach for the 2016 World Cup today. The announcement was made by Team North America general manager Peter Chiarelli, who also serves as McLellan's General Manager for the Oilers.
“We are excited to name our head coach and management team for our World Cup squad,” said Chiarelli. “They all know what it takes to win at the highest level and we’re looking forward to working together for next September’s competition.”
In addition to McLellan, Team North America also named Adam Graves, who has worked for the New York Rangers since 2005, as a Special Sssistant to Chiarelli. The two join Pat Verbeek, who serves as an assistant general manager for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Paul Fenton, who currently works as the Assistant General Manager for the Nashville Predators. Verbeek and Fenton will serve for Team North America as Directors of Player Personnel. Ryan Jankowski, Hockey Canada's Director of Player Personnel, will serve as the Director of of Operations. Current General Manager of the Chicago Blackhawks will serve as an Associate General Manager for Team Canada.
McLellan served as the head coach for Team Canada in this years' 2015 World Hockey Championship. Canada won its first gold medal since 2007, and powered through the tournament with a 10-0 record. McLellan, who is in his first year as the Oilers' head coach, previously coached the San Jose Sharks for seven seasons, leading them to six playoff appearances and three Pacific Division titles.
Current Oiler Connor McDavid, who is eligible for Team North America next year, was happy to see his current head coach in the position.
"That's awesome for Todd," McDavid said. "That's a great job. I know he's going to do a great job with it. If I'm lucky enough to be apart of that team, then there's no one I'd rather play for then him."
The World Cup of Hockey will take place next September in Toronto. Eight teams, representing the United States, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Russia, the Czech Republic, Team Europe and the Under-23 Team North America, will compete in the tournament. The tournament is a joint effort between the NHL and the NHLPA with cooperation from the International Ice Hockey Federation.
The preliminary round begins Sept. 17.