Over the past 28 years, Todd McLellan has been a coach in the SJHL, WHL, IHL, AHL & NHL, and in all but three of those seasons he’s been at the helm. He’s in his seventh season as NHL head coach and third with the Los Angeles Kings.
McLellan has a Stanley Cup under his belt from his time with the Detroit Red Wings in 2007-08, and on January 2, 2022, he won his 500th NHL game, becoming the 27th coach in league history to accomplish the feat.
Is the 54-year-old Saskatchewan product a natural born coach? How has he been able to rise up the coaching ranks with such ease? McLellan explained when he got bit by the coaching bug and some of the most important lessons he’s learned throughout his career, during the intro to his Virtual Hockey Summit presentation.
After being drafted by the New York Islanders in the 5th round of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, McLellan played five games for the Islanders before suffering an injury. He eventually made his way to play in Europe, where he got his first taste of coaching life.
“While I was there, I was able to live and reside with the coach. At that point I realized spending time with him and planning practices and pre-scouts and tactics, that was something I wanted to do in the real world.”
Fast-forward to today and the Kings’ bench boss used his presentation to talk with coaches of all levels, not only in hockey, about the role a coach plays and how it is evolving.
During his 37-minute talk, McLellan shares his thoughts about why there certainly is an I in team, a player’s mindset versus a coach’s mindset, how to develop a player support system that promotes individualism, and a whole lot more.
This is easily one of the most educational videos we’re ever had on the site, so be ready to take notes!
This video is available exclusively to members of The Coaches Site.
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