SCUFFLING KINGS AXE MCLELLAN
2024-02-03 · 2 min read · NHL/Hockey
The Los Angeles Kings, who have struggled with the whole consistency thing, have decided its time to make a change. They are letting head coach Todd McLellan go and are replacing him with assistant Jim Hiller. The Kings have been dropping down the standings as they are mired in a rough run, loosing 14 of their last 17. This is despite the Kings sitting as a top seed in the Pacific and setting and NHL record with 11 consecutive wins on the road to open the 2023-24 campaign, earlier in the season. Clearly this recent run was the back breaker for a team with Stanley Cup aspirations, especially after adding Pierre-Luc Dubois in a big move this offseason (who has struggled mightily so far).
McLellan was in his fifth year as the Kings head coach having amassed a 164-130-44 record with the LA since his hiring in 2019. In each of the last two campaigns McLellean led the Kings to a playoff berth and third place in the pacific division but were ousted by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round both times. McLellan previously coached the Oilers and the San Jose Sharks; his head coaching experience in the NHL is at a fairly impressive 1,114 game.
Hiller, who is now interim head coach, was serving as one of McLellan’s top assistants for the last two years. He previously served in the same role with the New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. Hiller has never served as a head coach at the professional level, which is particularly interesting when you factor in that McLellan was a seasoned vet; I wonder if the Kings purposely went for somebody who was an opposite and seems likely to bring a creative approach to the job. Hiller's first game as the bench boss will be on Feb 10th funny enough against the Oilers. The Kings currently sit 4th in the Pacific with 56 points and hold a wildcard spot. Now it is up to Hiller to straighten out this squad.
By: Chase Howard