The Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League made a head coaching change on Sunday. They named Willie Desjardins as their interim head coach. Even though he is interim, Desjardins will be the Kings head coach for the remainder of the 2018-19 National Hockey League regular season.
This is Desjardins's second head coaching job in the National Hockey League. He was previously the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 2014-2017. Last season, Desjardins was the head coach for the Canadian men's national team that won a bronze medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
In addition to coaching at the NHL level and the Olympic Winter Games, Desjardins coached seven seasons for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League, one season for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League, two seasons with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League and six seasons with the University of Calgary Dinos of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union. While with the Stars, Desjardins won the 2014 Calder Cup. Besides the Olympic bronze medal, Desjardins was an assistant coach for Canada when they won the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship in Ottawa.
Desjardins takes over from John Stevens, who coached the Kings from 2011-12 and again since 2017. This season the Kings got off to a slow start as they are currently last in the Western Conference with nine points.
In addition to firing Stevens, the Kings also fired assistant coach Don Nachbaur. Marco Sturm, who played one season for the Kings in 2010-11, has been hired as an assistant coach. Interestingly, Sturm also was a coach at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, and helped Germany win the Olympic silver medal. Sturm's Germany, in fact, shocked Desjardins' Canada 4-3 in the semifinal of the men's Olympic hockey tournament.
The Kings did win their last game where Stevens was behind the bench. Dustin Brown had a goal and two assists for three points on Saturday as the Kings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty also had multi-point games as Carter had one goal and one assist and Doughty had two assists.