AP source: Kings to name John Stevens next head coach
The Los Angeles Kings will name associate head coach John Stevens their next head coach, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
The person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Sunday because an announcement had not been made, said Stevens will be introduced at a news conference Monday.
Stevens replaces Darryl Sutter after serving as a Kings assistant and then associate coach for the past eight seasons, which included two Stanley Cups. He was interim head coach for four games in 2011-12 after Terry Murray was fired and before Sutter was hired.
The 50-year-old was long considered Sutter's eventual replacement, though the firing of general manager Dean Lombardi and Sutter earlier this month put everything into question. When assistant Davis Payne was fired and Stevens retained, the door was open to making the promotion.
Stevens spent parts of four seasons as coach of the Philadelphia Flyers (2006-2009), reaching the playoffs twice including a trip to the Eastern Conference final. In 2005, he won the Calder Cup as coach of the American Hockey League's Philadelphia Phantoms, the team he led to that title as captain in 1998.
The shift from a hard-nosed disciplinarian like Sutter to a players' coach like Stevens is a drastic one for Los Angeles, which has missed the playoffs in two of the past three years after winning the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014. When Lombardi and Sutter were fired, Rob Blake was named GM.
ESPN first reported Stevens' promotion.