April 23, 2017
The Kings have promoted assistant John Stevens to head coach, which the team announced on Sunday.
Stevens replaces Darryl Sutter, who was fired by the team on April 10, along with General Manager Dean Lombardi.
The 51-year-old has been on the Kings coaching staff for the last seven season. Prior to being a part of the Kings staff, he coached the Philadelphia Flyers from 2006-2009, where he compiled a record of 120-109-34. In 2008, he led Philadelphia to an Eastern Conference Final appearance.
General Manager Rob Blake and Stevens held discussions for over a week now regarding the direction of the hockey club.
“John and I had very productive dialogue this last week in relation to his head coaching philosophy and specifically how he would implement a strategy to activate our players offensively while maintaining the defensive philosophies we have come to be known for,” Blake said in a statement. “I am confident that we are both in agreement on how that can be executed.
“With that said, we believe John has the ideal qualities to lead our hockey club. His wide array of coaching experience, including success as an NHL head coach and his inherent knowledge of our players and those in our development system, is very appealing to us. We are confident he is the best person to lead our hockey club forward.”
Stevens is known for being a very defensive-minded head coach, but his challenge will be improving upon a Kings offense that was ranked 25th in the NHL last season. LA missed the playoffs for the 2nd time in the last 3 seasons.
The Kings will hold a press conference on Monday afternoon to make the announcement and formally introduce Stevens.