The Los Angeles Kings fire coach to try to salvage season. John Stevens was relieved of his duties as head coach at approximately 10 a.m. on Sunday. They also fired assistant coach Don Nachbaur. General Manager Rob Blake said the team is performing well below expectations.
The Kings also announced that they had hired Willy Desjardins who had previously been the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks before being fired from that organization. He recently coached the Canadian Olympic team to a bronze medal.
Joining Desjardins is Marco Sturm who is currently coaching the German National team. He coached Germany to a silver medal at the Olympic Games. He was a former first-round pick in the league and played for 14 seasons.
It is a bit of a strange hiring for the Kings as the positions are “interim.” This most likely means that it is a try out for next season. There are a couple of well-known coaches on the sidelines currently but many feel that they would want a long-term deal and the Kings don’t look to be offering anything like that currently.
The hockey club has some tough decisions in front of it. Deemed old and slow, the team is having a hard time adjusting to the changing NHL. Today’s game is all about speed and scoring. Unfortunately the Kings young, speed players just haven’t proven to be goal scorers.
As it sits now, the Kings have to decide if they stay the course with what they have. The option would be to deal off the core. With their experience many of them would be very attractive to a team that looks to go long into the playoffs.
Although the team had won on Saturday night, the wheels were already in motion on the moves since last week.
Stevens had been with the team since 2010. He was in the last year of his contract.