Excusing the huge caveat that, technically speaking, neither of these guys are available, TSN's Darren Dreger reports that Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock and San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan are men the Philadelphia Flyers covet for their newly-vacant bench boss position.
As of late last week, I was told McLellan and Babcock were the Flyers main targets. Both, if available, will have multiple options.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 17, 2015
This, of course, makes all the sense in the world.
We've been over Babcock before: he's a great coach who's won Stanley Cups and has turned borderline playoff rosters into contenders. He's dealt with elite talent and he's brought up burgeoning talent. He's probably the best coach in hockey, and the rumors are that he wants to be paid like it once the current season ends and his contract with Detroit expires. It's possible he stays with the Wings, it's possible he goes to Toronto, it's possible he goes elsewhere. He will have a lot of options and he will be given a lot of money, no matter where he ends up next season.
McLellan is also a coach with an extremely impressive resume. Things aren't going so well in San Jose, but he has had some excellent teams over the last 7 years out there. They haven't been able to win in the postseason much (or at all, really) but that in all honestly is probably more bad luck than anything else. We're certainly familiar with a similar style of bad luck here in Philadelphia.
Prior to joining the Sharks in 2007-08, McLellan served under Mike Babcock in Detroit, helping lead the NHL's top ranked power play as an assistant coach and earning a Stanley Cup ring. He also won a Calder Cup as head coach of the AHL's Houston Aeros in 2003.