LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have hired John Stevens as an assistant coach and have signed him to a multi-year contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced Thursday.
Stevens was most recently the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers (2006 to 2009). He had a 120-109-34 record with Philadelphia, leading the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2008.
The 44-year-old native of Campbellton, New Brunswick, took over as the Flyers head coach on Oct. 22, 2006, after beginning the 2006-07 campaign as the club’s assistant coach. The Flyers were 21-42-11 under Stevens in 2006-07, before having a great turn-around in 2007-08 (the Flyers had an NHL-best 39-point improvement from the year before). Following that season The Hockey News honored Stevens with their Coach of the Year Award.
In 2007-08 the Flyers went 42-29-11 in the regular season and qualified for the playoffs before eliminating Washington in the first round and top-seeded Montreal in the second round. Philadelphia fell to Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference Finals four games to one.
Stevens guided Philadelphia to a 99-point season in 2008-09 (44-27-11) and the team’s second consecutive playoff appearance before falling to the Penguins in the first round. He was 13-11-1 to start the 2009-10 campaign before he was relieved of his duties on Dec. 4, 2009.
Before his NHL coaching tenure, Stevens was the head coach of the Philadelphia Phantoms (the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate) for six years (2000-01 through 2005-06). During his tenure the Phantoms were 230-181-69, made the playoffs four times and won the Calder Cup Championship in 2005. He also served as an assistant coach with club in 1998-99 and 1999-00.
Stevens was drafted by the Flyers (third round, 47th overall) in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft and played parts of five seasons with the Flyers and Hartford Whalers, totaling 10 points (0-10=10) and 48 penalty minutes in 53 NHL regular season games. In 834 career AHL games he had 186 points (20-166=186) and won three Calder Cups: 1988 with Hershey, 1991 with Springfield (served as team captain) and 1998 with the Phantoms (served as team captain).
Stevens joins Kings head coach Terry Murray’s coaching staff and replaces former Kings assistant coach Mark Hardy who resigned on June 11. Murray served as an assistant coach with the Flyers under Stevens in 2006-07 and 2007-08.