3 head coaching candidates worth pursuing for the LA Kings

The LA Kings made shockwaves earlier today when they relieved head coach Todd McLellan of his duties.

Apr 19, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN;  Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy gestures as he speaks
Apr 19, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy gestures as he speaks / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
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Jim Hiller will take over head coaching duties for the LA Kings after they announced Todd McLellan will no longer be with the organization moving forward. This was a long time coming for the Kings, who were tied with the Vancouver Canucks for the second-best team in the Western Conference between October 11th and December 7th with 35 points.

Since then, the Kings have been one of the Western Conference’s worst teams, amassing a 7-11-7 record, good for just 21 points. This is tied for the fourth-lowest points total in the West between December 8th and the All-Star Break. The monumental collapse has also resulted in the Kings clinging to the first Wild Card spot, but the upstart St. Louis Blues are looking to pass them. 

While Hiller will look to prove he can turn things around in the interim, there are three candidates worth pursuing should the Kings continue their unfortunate decline. 

Brad Shaw could finally join the head coaching ranks full-time

Brad Shaw is one name that jumps out more than any other, as he helped Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella turn the team into contenders in 2023-24. It’s coaches with Shaw’s recent track record who will garner serious consideration when openings like what we have seen occur with the Kings. 

But Philadelphia isn’t the only place Shaw has made a mark, as he also helped the Canucks achieve their highest points total in 2021-22 since the 2014-15 season, even if they fell short of the playoffs. Before his short stint in Vancouver, Shaw teamed up with Tortorella in Columbus, where they helped bring the long-suffering Blue Jackets to relevance.

Shaw’s most prominent run came in St. Louis, when he spent a decade as an assistant for quite a few successful Blues teams. He also has experience as a head coach when he posted an 18-18-4 record with the New York Islanders during the latter half of the 2005-06 season. 

If the Kings are looking for a coach with more experience than many upcoming candidates, Shaw is their answer. He has shown a knack for sticking around organizations for quite a while, and he has been part of several successful rebuilds.