After a promising start to the season that gave way to a stretch of winning just three of their past 17 games, the Kings fired Todd McLellan on Friday and named Jim Hiller interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
McLellan, 56, went 164-130-44 over parts of four seasons. The past two seasons ended with heartbreaking opening-round playoff losses to the Edmonton Oilers.
This season, the Kings jumped out to a 20-7-4 start, buoyed by an NHL-record 11-game road win streak to start the season. After Dec. 27, the team endured a 0-4-4 stretch that led to their recent 3-14 run, which coincidentally culminated with Wednesday’s 4-2 victory in Nashville to snap a four-game skid going into the All-Star break.
“We want to thank Todd for his hard work and dedication to the organization,” Kings Vice President and General Manager Rob Blake said in a statement. “He has done a tremendous job in moving us forward and making a positive impact on our group and in our community. This was not an easy decision, but we felt the change was necessary at this time. Jim is a well-respected member of our staff who is familiar with our players. We are confident in his ability to lead our team effectively during this pivotal time.”
Hiller, 54, joined the Kings in July 2022 and has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach. He served in the same capacity over the previous eight seasons with the New York Islanders (2019-22), Toronto Maple Leafs (2015-19) and Detroit Red Wings (2014-15).
More to come on this story.