He was previously mentioned for the Colorado job before they rehired Tony Granato. But good thing he was in that mix because it caused the Denver Post's Terry Frei to do some legwork on him. Here's an interesting interview with McLellan in which he talks about his influences. The most revealing quote was his game plan:
"I'd like to coach a high-tempo, fast, puck-possession type team."
McLellan is in charge of the Wings power play and forwards, with obvious success. He's another tactician, another thinking-man's coach. In his playing days, he was a center. McLellan, who hails from Saskatchewan, is now 41.
And from Kevin Allen of USA Today on May 22:
McLellan’s name has been linked by the Denver Post to the Colorado job, and it’s presumed that he will also be a candidate in Atlanta....The Red Wings are considered among the NHL’s prepared teams, and McLellan plays a significant role in that.Here is McLellan's bio from the Red Wings website. An excerpt:
He has quickly earned a reputation as a great offensive mind, leading the Red Wings' very successful power-play unit....Before joining the Red Wings, McLellan spent four seasons as head coach of the American Hockey League’s Houston Aeros. He led the Aeros to the 2003 Calder Cup championship...
Also interesting is this blog post by a radio broadcaster who remembers a young McLellan coaching in Swift Current. Good to hear McLellan is friendly to the media. That's important in this city and important for this job as the team continues to sell the sport.
As with all good candidates, he could get other offers, the Sharks among them. From the Mercury News a few days ago:
Detroit assistant coach Todd McLellan has let some folks know that he’s scheduled to talk with Doug Wilson once the series with the Penguins has been settled.
(Edit to add: my interview with a former player of McLellan's).