The Los Angeles Kings have promoted longtime assistant John Stevens to head coach, the team announced Sunday.
Stevens will replace Darryl Sutter after the former coach was fired, along with and general manager Dean Lombardi, on April 10. The Lombardi/Sutter duo delivered the only two Stanley Cups in the franchise's history but were relieved of their duties after Los Angeles finished this season 39-35-8 and eight points out of a playoff spot.
"John and I had very productive dialogue this last week in relation to his head coaching philosophy and specifically how he would implement a strategy to activate our players offensively while maintaining the defensive philosophies we have come to be known for," vice president and general manager Rob Blake said in a statement. "I am confident that we are both in agreement on how that can be executed.
"With that said, we believe John has the ideal qualities to lead our hockey club. His wide array of coaching experience, including success as an NHL head coach and his inherent knowledge of our players and those in our development system, is very appealing to us. We are confident he is the best person to lead our hockey club forward."
Stevens, who turns 51 next month, has been part of the Kings coaching staff for the last seven seasons. He previously coached the Flyers from 2006-09, ending his tenure in Philadelphia with a 120-109-34 record and an Eastern Conference Final appearance in 2008.
The team is scheduled to hold an intorductory press conference Monday.