NHL Notebook: L.A. Kings name Jim Hiller head coach

Los Angeles Kings Jim Hiller
Photo credit:Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
30 days ago
The L.A. Kings have removed the interim tag on Jim Hiller, naming him the 30th head coach in franchise history on Wednesday.
Hiller, 54, took over behind the bench when the team fired Todd McLellan in early February. The club had sputtered through the winter to a 23-15-10 record, including a 7-11-7 run since early December.
But the Kings turned their season around, going 21-12-1 under Hiller and finishing third in the Pacific Division. Their playoffs were short-lived, however, outworked and outmatched by the Oilers who eliminated them in five games.
News of the coaching decision was first reported by Kevin Weekes.
Prior to taking the interim role, Hiller had spent the prior two seasons as an assistant coach with the club. He’s been in the NHL since 2014, when he took an assistant coach job with the Detroit Red Wings. It lasted only one year before he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015-16 as an assistant on Mike Babock’s coaching staff. He spent four years there before, in 2019-20, he joined the New York Islanders in the same role, holding onto it for three years before heading west for L.A.
His full-time role behind the Kings’ bench will be his first professional head coaching job, but prior to joining the NHL ranks, he worked as a head coach in the Western Hockey League for the Chilliwack Bruins (2006-07 through 2008-09) and the Tri-City Americans (2009-10 – 2013-14).
A native of Port Alberni, B.C., he was the BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs head coach and general manager between 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Lightning acquire McDonagh — again

It should come as no surprise the Tampa Bay Lightning are getting a jump on the offseason market in a move that came out of nowhere.
On Tuesday, they acquired defenceman Ryan McDonagh and the Oilers’ fourth-round pick in 2024 from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2025 second-round pick and a 2024 seventh-round pick.
The move reunites McDonagh with the Lightning, whom he helped win Stanley Cups with in 2020 and 2021. Tampa Bay, however, dealt him to Nashville in July 2022 for Grant Mismash and Philippe Myers.
Predators general manager Barry Trotz met with members of the media Tuesday and said the deal was made at McDonagh’s request.
“It was a request from Ryan,” Trotz said via The Tennessean. “We talked a little bit at the end of the year. He said if there’s ever an opportunity to get back to Tampa, he asked if I would explore that a little bit. So, out of respect for the type of person that (McDonagh) is, I talked to (Tampa) and we made I think a fair deal.
“(McDonagh’s) got so many good memories of his time in Tampa. That’s probably where him and his wife are going to settle. He’s been such a fantastic leader and someone I have so much respect for. Do the right thing. There’s sometimes in this game you try to do the right thing for good people.”

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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