FILE - In this May 12, 2017, file photo, Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan speaks to the media during an NHL hockey news conference in Edmonton, Alberta. The Edmonton Oilers have fired coach Todd McLellan and replaced him with Ken Hitchcock with the team languishing in sixth place in the Pacific Division. McLellan was in his fourth season behind the Oilers' bench. The team missed the playoffs in two of his previous three seasons despite having superstar Connor McDavid on its roster. The Oilers were just 9-10-1 entering its game Tuesday night, Nov. 20, 2018, at San Jose. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Ken Hitchcock knows the routine well by now as he begins his tenure as new coach of the Edmonton Oilers. For the fourth time in his long coaching career, Hitchcock has been tasked with taking over a struggling team in the middle of the season.
Hitchcock was hired Tuesday as coach of his hometown Oilers after the team fired Todd McLellan with the team languishing in sixth place in the Pacific Division.
"It's not going to change overnight, but we can start taking some steps," said Hitchcock, who led St. Louis to a first-place finish in 2011-12 after taking over as coach one month into the season. "I told the players today I can take them to a place personally that they can't get to themselves, but they've got to buy into that, and it's not going to be comfortable at times."