Thursday, July 28, 2005

New Assistant Coaches: Paul MacLean and Todd McLellan

Paul MacLean
GM Ken Holland announced that Paul MacLean and Todd McLellan will join the Red Wings coaching staff as assistant coaches. The coaching staff of Babcock, 42, MacLean, 47, and McLellan, 37, is young relative to what we're used to. Introduced a few weeks back on this site, albeit briefly, Paul MacLean played for the Wings during the 1988-89 season. He was an assistant coach in Anaheim with Mike Babcock for two seasons (Lorne Henning was the other assistant coach), and led the Quad City Mallards of the UHL to the 2001 Colonial Cup Championship. He was on a line with Steve Yzerman and Gerard Gallant - a line that holds the record for most goals/points by a line. For trivia, here's his 1978 draft profile (along with a young picture of him). Says Babcock:

"Paul brings a great deal of experience as player and coach. The success we've had in the past and the relationship we have will help us do great things in Detroit. He's a former Red Wing and will be a great addition to our staff."
I'm totally fine with Babcock bringing along one of his assistants from Anaheim. MacLean was a power play specialist during his NHL career, and the Wings have had their share of power play droughts, so hopefully he brings an edge in that category. Another plus about MacLean is that he played with Yzerman in the late 80's, so signing MacLean could, to some extent, be an effort by the Wings to entice the Captain to continue playing. As for Todd McLellan, he was the head coach of the Houston Aeros of the AHL, affiliate to the Minnesota Wild. McLellan has never missed the playoffs in all of his professional coaching, and led the Aeros to the 2003 Calder Cup Championship. He has been successful at coaching at all levels of minor league play, from the IHL to AHL to WHL, enjoying coach of the year and all star game honors. A sharp contract to the success of his NHL career, which lasted a mere 5 games during the 1987-88 season with the Islanders.
Todd McLellan


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