The firing of Todd McLellan and hiring of Ken Hitchcock on Tuesday marked a continuation of a coaching carousel for the Edmonton Oilers over the past decade.
Hitchcock became the franchise’s seventh head coach since 2009.
McLellan had the longest tenure during that time, lasting 266 games in three and a quarter seasons.
Watch below: Todd McLellan has been fired as the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers. The team announced Tuesday Ken Hitchcock will take over behind the bench.
Pat Quinn took over as the Oilers bench boss in 2009 after Craig MacTavish was relieved of his duties following eight seasons at the helm. Quinn lasted just one season after the team finished last in the Western Conference.
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Tom Renney replaced Quinn but didn’t experience more success. Renney coached the team during 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, when the team finished last and second to last respectively in the conference.
The Oilers showed some improvement during the 2012-13 campaign under the helm of Ralph Krueger, who led the team to a 19-22-7 record during the lockout-shortened season.
But Krueger was not brought back; instead, Dallas Eakins took over the head coaching duties for the 2013-14 season. His first and only full season as the bench boss was a disappointment, with the team finishing last in the Western Conference again.
Eakins was fired partway through his second season and replaced by Todd Nelson, who was the head coach of the Oilers American Hockey League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons, before the promotion.
Nelson took over the position on an interim basis and lasted just 51 games in the role. Edmonton finished in 13th place and Nelson was not hired on a full-time basis as the Oilers head coach during the offseason.
New general manager Peter Chiarelli hired McLellan during the summer of 2015 instead.
The Oilers missed the playoffs in McLellan’s first year as head coach, but made a major leap the following season, finishing first in the Pacific Division with 104 points and advancing to the second round of the playoffs, before losing in seven games to the Anaheim Ducks.
The future looked bright for the Oilers, led by Connor McDavid, who won the Hart Trophy as NHL’s most valuable player.
But Edmonton experienced a setback the following season, missing the playoffs with a 36-40-6 record.
The Oilers started this season well, but have gone into a recent tailspin, losing six of their past seven games, including back-to-back losses to Calgary and Las Vegas over the weekend.
McLellan finishes his tenure in Edmonton with an overall record of 123-119-24.
Hitchcock announced his retirement in April after a 22-year coaching career, which included a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999.
He will be behind the Oilers bench when they visit the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night.
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