Friday, June 06, 2008

Former Broncos Head Coach A Stanley Cup Champion

It's been quite the last two days for former Broncos Head Coach Todd McLellan as you would expect after claiming the Stanley Cup Wednesday night.

The Detroit Red Wings Assistant Coach is ready to take the next step in his coaching career. I went one-on-one with him this morning. It's safe to say he's looking to take the next step in his coaching career....

JK: First of all congratulations. Secondly, take me through that final minute behind the bench in game six protecting the one goal lead... pretty tense I would imagine.

Todd: It certainly was. There was a lot of excitement. You always say to yourself you will be calm and cool and collected. For the most part we were but our hearts were beating really fast and what that final buzzer went it was...oh boy, a lot of relief and a lot of excitement.

JK: (Head Coach) Mike Babcock sported a Spokane Chiefs hat a news conference a couple weeks ago with the Chiefs in the Memorial Cup final. How often do you think of the Swift Current Broncos and your time in the WHL?

Todd: I often think about. I know when I looked at my phone after the game there was a number of my old friends and people that I worked with in Swift Current that sent great greetings to me. Swift Current holds a very dear spot in my heart in my career so far and I think about it a lot. I hope in the near future I'll have the opportunity to wear a Bronco hat when they're in the Memorial Cup as well as us being in the Stanley Cup Finals again.

JK: One thing that has come up lately is your name being thrown around when talking about potential head coaching jobs around the NHL. That has to be a feather in the cap...

Todd: Well, it is. I think that happens when you're involved in successful organizations. Again we talked earlier about my opportunity in Swift Current and it was a successful organization. We had some real good teams and that allowed me to advance to the pro level and now I'm in Detroit where success has followed this team around. I hope to parlay that into a head coaching position and I know I'm going to get the opportunity to speak to a few General Managers in the next two weeks. I'd like to think I will get the chance and make good on it.

JK: Take me through the last 24 to 48 hours since winning the Cup. What have they been about?

Todd: Well it hasn't been about sleep I can tell you that much (laughs). After the game in Pittsburgh the families were all there so we had a chance to celebrate in the building... mostly on the ice surface because the building is so old and small. We took some charter flights home and landed in Detroit. In one of the airport hangars there was a huge party till... well, the sun was coming up when I got home. Then yesterday, Mr and Mrs. Ilitch our great team owners here in Detroit had all the players and their families over to their place for a nice reception and dinner.

Right now we are in downtown Detroit, we are having breakfast as a team at the Hockeytown Cafe. People are gathering for the parade and we're expecting over a million people for that. It really hit me of what we really accomplished... this morning when I was driving down here. We had a bus going down the streets and seeing the people lined up already. It's just phenomenal to see the people and the passion they have.

JK: I'm sure you won't mind the short off-season. What are your plans? What's the months ahead hold for you?

Todd: The one thing I hope happens is the opportunity to become a head coach. If that happens there is going to be a lot of busy days as far as getting family organized. If not, then we will certainly enjoy our time in Detroit. We're thinking of getting back to Saskatchewan perhaps... Swift Current. Just spending family time too. The season goes by so quick but only for the players and coaches. But for the families back alone at home it's a long one. I'm going to spend a lot of time with the kids and my wife.

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