Jim Hiller was named coach of the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old signed a three-year contract with what general manager Rob Blake said was an option or trigger for a fourth. He went 21-12-1 as interim coach after taking over for Todd McLellan, who was fired Feb. 2.

"Just shy of 35 years ago, I was drafted by the L.A. Kings (10th round, No. 207 in the 1989 NHL Draft), so to be sitting here today is an honor, to say it lightly," Hiller said Thursday. "To have that long and winding path, to end back up here, my first head coaching job with the Kings, is something I don't take lightly."

The Kings (44-27-1) finished third in the Pacific Division. They were eliminated from the Western Conference First Round by the Edmonton Oilers for the third consecutive season and have not won a Stanley Cup Playoff series since winning the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons in 2014.

"Sometimes it's just small details," Hiller said. "Sometimes it's as much as getting to the net harder with more determination. That detail in itself might be enough, so I think you just have to be careful delineating the playoffs and the regular season. We're close. We're really close, but there are things we have to do better. Can we do that better? I think so."

The Kings are Hiller's first head coaching job in the NHL. At the time of the coaching change, they were 3-8-6 in 17 games after beginning the season 20-7-4.

"I just let the process play out," Hiller said. "I couldn't have done anymore. I didn't feel like I could do anymore. We had a lot of conversations. We watched video. We discussed a lot of different things about hockey with the management group. And I just felt confident that I did everything I could, and I would just let the chips fall where they may."

Blake will return as GM for the 2024-25 season, the last season of a three-year contract extension he signed in May, 2022. The Kings have reached the playoffs in four of his seven seasons but have not won a series.

"What we've come to realize, and Jim and I are on the same page here, is there's a certain desire to win that needs to be raised within our team here, and what that is, is getting a little uncomfortable," Blake said. "There's a desire to get there. That's [going to] hurt. You're [going to] get hit, you're [going to] get cross-checked, but that's how you get that job done.

"We've [have to] get uncomfortable with our group. It starts right now, right here, today with me, with Jim right down to our players. If that's where we want to get to, that's what we got to get to."

Hiller joined the Kings as an assistant coach July 19, 2022, and held the same role with the New York Islanders (2019-22), Toronto Maple Leafs (2015-19) and Detroit Red Wings (2014-15). He coached Alberni in the British Columbia Hockey League and Tri-City of the Western Hockey League, where was named WHL and Canadian Hockey League coach of the year for the 2011-12 season.

He played 63 regular-season games as a forward with the Kings, Red Wings and New York Rangers from 1992-94.

Two teams are without a coach: the San Jose Sharks and the Seattle Kraken. Since the regular season ended, the Buffalo Sabres hired Lindy Ruff on April 22; the Ottawa Senators hired Travis Green on May 7; the Toronto Maple Leafs named Craig Berube coach on May 17; the New Jersey Devils hired Sheldon Keefe on May 23 and the Winnipeg Jets named Scott Arniel on May 24.

NHL.com independent correspondent Dan Greenspan contributed to this report