Kings name Jim Hiller new head coach

Los Angeles Kings (Wikimedia Commons)

The Los Angeles Kings have named Jim Hiller of Port Alberni, British Columbia their interim head coach for the remainder of the 2023-24 National Hockey League regular season according to the Associated Press on Friday. This is Hiller’s first NHL  head coaching job. He takes over from Todd McLellan of Melville, Saskatchewan. It is interesting that Hiller has a Melville connection too. That is because he played two seasons for the Melville Millionaires in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League from 1987 to 1989.

Hiller has been an assistant coach in the NHL for the last decade. He was with the Detroit Red Wings from 2014 to 2015, the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2015 to 2019, the New York Islanders from 2019 to 2022, and the Kings from 2022 to 2024.

As a NHL player, Hiller played 63 games as a right winger with the Kings, Red Wings and New York Rangers from 1992 to 1994. He had eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points, and was a +8 with 116 penalty minutes, two power-play points (one power-play goal and one power-play assist), two game-winning goals, and 83 shots on goal.

Hiller’s game-winning goals came in two Kings games in October of 1992. He first scored from Canadian Olympic gold medalist Rob Blake of Simcoe, Ontario, and Mike Donnelly at 14:10 of the first period to open the scoring in a 4-0 Kings win over the Calgary Flames on October 15, 1992, and the scored from Luc Robitaille of Montreal, Quebec and Kurri at 15:53 of the second period in an 8-6 Kings win over the Boston Bruins on October 17, 1992. At the time the Kings went up 7-2. Blake won a gold medal for Canada at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. 

The power-play goal came on December 5, 1992 in a 7-3 Kings win over the Hartford Whalers. Paul Coffey of Weston, Ontario and Kurri had the assists which put the Kings up 3-0 at the time.

The Kings are currently in fourth place in the Pacific Division and have the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference. They have a record of 23 wins, 15 regulation losses and 10 losses in extra time for 56 points.

 

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