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Who Will Be The Next Head Coach of the Kings?

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Los Angeles Kings Head Coach Jim Hiller took over the team mid-season for Todd McLellan, who was fired.
Hiller assumed the role under pressure, trying to get Los Angeles into the playoffs after a lengthy slump.

He led the team to a 21-12-1 record for 43 points and earned a playoff spot, where they were eliminated in the first round by the Edmonton Oilers.

Did that loss secure a spot for a new Head Coach, or will Hiller be back next season?

Kings Looking for a Coaching Resolution

With General Manager Rob Blake returning next season, there was no indication he wanted to make a change behind the bench, but he also did not say there would not be one at the exit interviews. Blake has one year left on his contract and may want to bring Hiller back because he would be a cheaper option than some coaches that are out there. Plus, he is familiar with the organization. For Blake, there may not be money available for a new head coach to come in, which may cost them upwards of $5 million or more. However, if Hiller does return, it will be his first full season behind the Kings bench.

Hiller got the players’ attention early, and the team went on a bit of a winning streak after he was named coach. He does a great job with the team and the communication to get what he wants out of the team on a nightly basis. The roster he inherited was caught in the middle of the Pierre-Luc Dubois saga, but Dubois did play a bit better after McLellan left.

He left a good impression after the regular season, but is he the right coach for the job?


There are plenty of coaching vacancies in the league, and some noteworthy names are out there for hire. Former Head Coaches Craig Berube, Joel Quenneville, Sheldon Keefe, Dave Hakstol, Jay Woodcroft, Dean Evason, and Don Granato are all out there, waiting for the right opportunity. Berube is the top name on every team’s list, but this is a quality list that is capable of landing anywhere. If the Kings decide to move on from Hiller, it may come down to money and who fits the mold of the Kings organization for the right price. Any number of these coaches could be a good fit for Los Angeles, as most of them have had success in one way or another. Another factor in hiring a new coach if they go that route will be playoff success, as the Kings have not had much of that recently.

Regardless of whether there is a coaching change or not, expect some kind of announcement soon. The 2024 NHL Draft is coming up, and so is free agency so that they will want a coach in place for those two events. The organization is expected to make some changes, and a head coach may be involved in the decisions. Soon after those events are done comes the development camp and then the main training camp. Hiller might be the guy at the start of next season because the Kings simply do not want to spend money.

The head coaches listed above could bring a different energy, a new voice, and a different point of view to a team that needs a change. A strict coach who has no-nonsense will make these players play hard and pay for their mistakes. Berube is the coach the Kings need, but he is in high demand and may price himself out of Los Angeles.

Either way, the organization needs to find the right guy to lead this team to some playoff wins and series wins.
If Hiller comes back and does not complete the job, he and Blake could be out of a job.

PHOTO: Getty Images

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