"But he's never won a Cup."
If there is a complaint to be made about the Oilers decision to hire Todd McLellan, that is probably it. His Sharks teams enjoyed regular season success but failed advance to the Stanley Cup, and only reach the Conference Finals on two occasions. Obviously the end goal is to win the Stanley Cup so if McLellan isn't, for whatever reason, a good playoff coach, that is possibly a reason to be concerned.
Of course, having just finished an 82 game season with a whopping 62 points, missing the playoffs by a mere 35 points, the Oilers still have a few things to worry about before playoff failures becomes a major issue. As Adam Wu said in the comments on Tuesday, "Why don’t we try getting INTO the playoffs first, before fretting about the coach’s potential inability to win in them?" Personally, I agree with Adam.
What does McLellan think about those playoff failures though? Thanks to Reid Wilkins, who passed along a link to the audio above, we have a slightly better idea.
I like that McLellan doesn't see those seasons where the Sharks lost out in the Conference Finals as a failures, because they're not. Building a team capable of having a very successful regular season campaign followed by a trip to the Final Four shoud always been seen as a success. I have no doubt that those losses were disappointing, as were the years when the Sharks didn't even make it that far, but as McLellan says, "there are many variables that go into that." It would be nice if the best team always won but that's simply not the case, and the games would be a lot less fun to win if it was.
Winning is the ultimate goal of any franchise, falling short of that mark doesn't indicate a complete failure though. McLellan may not have coached a team to the sport's ultimate prize yet, but that he understands this reality is something that I find encouraging.