The Oilers currently sit in sixth place in the Pacific Division at 9-10-1 for 19 points, but their .475 win percentage ranks the sixth-lowest in the NHL. McLellan was with the Oilers since the 2015-2016 season, this after spending seven seasons as the coach of the San Jose Sharks. He has had one of the top players in the league his entire time with Edmonton in Connor McDavid, but only made the playoffs once out of the West. After a dominant 2016-2017 season, the Oilers missed the playoffs a season ago with a 36-40-6 record for 78 points, despite McDavid leading the league with 108 points.
The Oilers have decided to keep a veteran leader behind the bench, announcing Ken Hitchcock as their new head coach that same day. Hitchcock most recently coached the Blues and Stars, as the 66-year-old ranks third in NHL history with 803 wins, trailing only Joel Quenneville and Scotty Bowman. He has coached 22 seasons with other teams such as the Philadelphia Flyers, Sharks, and Columbus Blue Jackets. He stepped away from the Stars' coaching position at the end of last season, despite signing a multi-year contract extension a year earlier.
Hitchcock does have one Stanley Cup to his name, as that came with the Stars in 1999. He was also named the Jack Adams Award winner in the 2011-2012 season with the Blues. The veteran coach made his Oilers debut on Tuesday night, which was a 4-3 overtime win over one of his former teams, the Sharks, in San Jose.