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From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Friday, July 29, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
MCLELLAN JOINS DETROIT RED WINGS
Second-winningest head coach in Aeros history heads to NHL as assistantHOUSTON, Texas
Todd McLellan has resigned from his position as head coach of the American Hockey Leagues Houston Aeros to join the National Hockey Leagues Detroit Red Wings as an assistant coach, the teams announced Friday. A search for McLellans replacement will begin immediately, according to Aeros general manager Tom Lynn.
McLellan, 37, went 154-129-37 in his four seasons with the Aeros and led the team to the Calder Cup championship in 2002-03. McLellan spent the last five campaigns within the Minnesota Wild organization, having coached Cleveland of the International Hockey League in 2000-01. His pro teams have gone 197-161-44 and have never missed the playoffs. McLellans 154 wins trail only current Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippetts 165 victories for the Aeros franchise lead.
Its an exciting time right now, McLellan said. Coaches, no matter what they tell you, are just like players, striving to get to highest level possible. This is one more step in that journey. But theres also the fact that youre leaving a good organization and some very good people here in Houston. My emotions are a little bit mixed, but its mostly excitement.
Todd has been an important component of the Wild's development of players and the Aeros' success over the last four years, Lynn said. Our fans will always remember him as the coach who brought the first Calder Cup to Houston.
Detroits new head coach Mike Babcock knows McLellan well. They coached against each other for six Western Hockey League seasons Babcock in Spokane, McLellan in Swift Current. McLellan captured the Dunc McCallum Trophy as the WHLs Coach of the Year in 1999-2000, and Babcock was the runner-up. Babcock also coached AHL Cincinnati in 2001-02, McLellans first season in Houston.
After four years at the helm, McLellan still ranked as the second youngest head coach in the AHL, behind only Ryan McGill, hired this week in Omaha.
McLellan coached six seasons with Swift Current and was the runner-up for the Molson Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year following the 1999-2000 campaign. During that season, Swift Current finished first in the WHLs Eastern Division with a 47-21-4 record and led the league in fewest goals allowed (170). Along with his head coaching duties, McLellan held the position of general manager with the Broncos from 1996-2000. He was awarded the WHL Executive of the Year award in 1996-97. From 1994-2000 in juniors, McLellan went 236-160-36 (.588 winning percentage) and never missed the post-season.
The Melville, Sask., native played his junior hockey with Saskatoon (WHL), and was drafted by the New York Islanders in 1986. He spent two seasons in the AHL with Springfield, and played five games for the Islanders in 1987-88, recording one goal and one assist. McLellan retired due to injury following the 1988-89 season.
McLellan, Tippett and Ron Low are former Aeros coaches currently in the National Hockey League. Low is a goaltending coach with the Ottawa Senators.
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