After posting a record of 4-8-1, including a 6-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Kings have decided to remove John Stevens as head coach and Don Nachbaur as assistant coach.
The moves come after a win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
Stevens became the head coach in the summer of 2017 after the club fired Darryl Sutter. In his time behind the bench as head coach Stevens posted a record of 49-37-9. At this time the Kings are at the bottom of the Pacific Division.
Their next home game will be Tuesday against their freeway rivals, the Anaheim Ducks.
Portions of the L.A. Kings’ press release below:
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have relieved John Stevens of his head coaching duties and Willie Desjardins has been named the new Kings interim head coach, Kings Vice President and General Manager Rob Blake announced today.
“This is a critical time in our season and our results to date have fallen well below our expectations. With that in mind, this was a difficult decision but one we feel was necessary,” said Blake. “We have a great deal of respect and appreciation for John’s time with our organization. He was a key part of our past success, and we have tremendous gratitude for his many contributions.”
In addition, Don Nachbaur, who joined the Kings as an assistant coach prior to last season, has been relieved of his duties. His replacement behind the Kings bench will be former LA King Marco Sturm, who is currently the Head Coach and General Manager of the German National Team.
“We appreciate everything Don has done as a member of the Kings coaching staff, and wish him the best moving forward,” said Blake.
Desjardins has 20-plus years of coaching experience. In the NHL he served as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks for three seasons (from 2014-17). He also served as associate head coach with the Dallas Stars for two seasons (2010-12).
A native of Climax, Saskatoon, Desjardins is 61 years old. He is officially the 25th different coach in Kings history.
Sturm is a native of Germany who appeared in 938 NHL games during his playing career that spanned over 14 seasons. He registered 487 total points during his career (242-245=487), a career plus-59 rating and 446 penalty minutes.
The Kings continue their seven-game homestand on Tuesday when the club hosts the Ducks. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports West, the FOX Sports app and the LA Kings Audio Network. For all Kings ticket information visit LAKings.com and call 888-KINGS-LA.
Photos by Claudia Gestro
Top photo: John Stevens
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