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Kings promote Stevens to serve as new head coach

 

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The LA Kings and John Stevens have agreed to contract terms for Stevens to serve as the club’s new head coach.

The announcement was made Sunday by Kings VP-GM Rob Blake.

Stevens has most recently served as the club’s associate head coach and has been part of the Kings coaching staff the past seven seasons.

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The Kings are scheduled to host a news conference on Monday beginning at 1:30 p.m. at STAPLES Center to formally introduce Stevens. It will be streamed live at LAKings.com.

“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,” said Blake. “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 officially the 27th head coach in Kings history with 24 different men – including Stevens – having served as head coach.

Stevens served as the Kings head coach for four games during the 2011-12 regular season (Dec. 13, Dec. 15, Dec. 17 and Dec. 19) and the Kings posted a 2-2-0 record. Stevens replaced Terry Murray (his last game was December 10, 2011) before Darryl Sutter was hired (his first game was December 22, 2011). Sutter and his coaching staffs played pivotal roles in the Kings winning the two Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014.

He has an established coaching track record at a variety of levels including the NHL when he served as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers from 2006-09. With the Flyers, his club had a 120-109-34 record while leading the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Final in 2008.

The native of Campbellton, N.B., took over as the Flyers head coach on October 22, 2006, after beginning the 2006-07 campaign as the club’s assistant coach. The Flyers were 21-42-11 under Stevens in 2006-07, before having a great turn-around in 2007-08 (the Flyers had an NHL-best 39-point improvement from the year before).

In Philadelphia, Stevens coached a team that featured seven 20-goal scorers (2007-08) and those Flyers were one of two NHL teams to feature three defensemen who registered 30 points.

Stevens also played in the NHL as he played parts of five seasons with Philadelphia and Hartford as a defenseman.