Both the LA Kings and their AHL affiliate in Ontario qualified for postseason play. Each club also had relatively short runs, with the parent organization taking Edmonton to a Game 7 before exiting in round one, while the Reign were eventually swept out in the second round. Now, coaching changes could be afoot for both clubs.
FWIW — I'm not expecting Chris Hajt to assume the head coaching role.
On the other hand, there's an opening in San Diego… Will he be considered for that role? Or does Ducks GM PatV already have his guy in mind? Regardless, expecting Hajt to land a HC job somewhere. Smart guy. https://t.co/ynteu2idNQ
— The Mayor (@mayorNHL) May 16, 2022
As we previously reported, Chris Hajt is not expected to assume the permanent role for Ontario following a stint as interim coach during the second half of their 2021-22 season. It’s been a bit of a wild ride in Ontario for roughly two years now. Calder Cup winning head coach Mike Stothers didn’t have his contract renewed in May 2020, which led to the eventual hiring of John Wroblewski. He coached the Reign through the covid-shortened season in 2021, then returned the past season before going out on a personal leave in December. He later resigned this past March, ended his tenure with the team after a combined total of just 56 AHL games.
Hajt and assistant coach Craig Johnson took over for the balance of the season, helping guide Ontario to the AHL’s best power play in history, clicking at a ridiculous 27.48%.
For anybody wondering, all of the LA Kings coaching staff are under contract for next year.
— The Mayor (@mayorNHL) May 16, 2022
Ironically, it was the Kings inept power play that was a frequent topic of conversation throughout the regular season and on into the playoffs. Now, in what may end up as a convenient – or mutually beneficial – situation, Marco Sturm could factor into situations behind both benches.
Originally hired as a Kings assistant coach in November 2018, following the dismissal of then head coach John Stevens, Sturm has served as an assistant to Todd McLellan for the past three seasons.
From what we’ve been hearing over the past few weeks, there could be a shuffling of the deck soon, with Sturm possibly ending up as the head coach in Ontario. Essentially, it would be an opportunity for him to earn head coach credentials, with a potential eye on future opportunities. Prior to joining the Kings organization, Sturm – a veteran of nearly 1,000 NHL games as a player — had transitioned into being a buzzworthy coaching candidate while serving as bench boss for his native Germany.
Equally beneficial, such a move would create an opening for a new assistant in Los Angeles – a vacancy that could be filled by somebody tabbed to help improve the Kings power play. With a paltry 16.1% success rate, LA finished 27th overall during the regular season; worst among all teams that qualified for playoff action.
Where McLellan and the Kings would begin such a search is unclear at this time. However, piece one of the organization’s summer plans could potentially be positioned into place soon.
Nothing has been confirmed as final just yet, so we’ll have to see where things go next.
LA Kings offseason plans:
— Add a goal scoring winger
— Add some toughness
— Add a power play
— The Mayor (@mayorNHL) May 15, 2022
For more on LA’s other plans this offseason, be sure to check out the article linked below.
The Kings are +550 underdogs to win the 2023 Pacific Division, trailing behind this season’s winner Calgary Flames.
ANAHEIM / SAN DIEGO UPDATE
As we understand things, the general assumption is that new Anaheim GM Pat Verbeek has already tabbed his next head coach for San Diego. While no formal announcement has been made, it’s believed to be somebody he likely had in mind when he first took the Ducks job. Just days after their AHL season ended, Verbeek relieved then Gulls coach Joel Bouchard of his duties.
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com