The Los Angeles Kings have decided definitively on their coaching staff following another early playoff elimination. General Manager Rob Blake has formally designated Jim Hiller as the new head coach. Hiller replaced Todd McLellan as temporary head coach in February after his dismissal. This decision was made in spite of the team’s recent history of failing to get past the first round of the playoffs.

The Kings have stuck to their tough, defense-first philosophy under Hiller’s direction, which has been a defining feature of their style of play. The Kings have realized they need to increase their offensive output even if their defense has made them one of the NHL’s best defensive teams. Hiller and General Manager Rob Blake stressed the significance of striking a balance between attacking inventiveness and defensive resiliency.

The 1-3-1 neutral zone trap, which tries to limit opponents’ scoring possibilities, is the cornerstone of the Kings’ defensive approach. Though this strategy is good at preventing goals from being scored, it has occasionally made it more difficult for the Kings to create scoring opportunities. Hiller and his coaching staff are dedicated to resolving this problem and maintaining the team’s defensive identity.

The Kings’ failure to make it far into the playoffs despite having a team full of elite players is one of their biggest problems. In spite of large expenditures on high-scoring forwards like Kevin Fiala and Pierre-Luc Dubois, the Kings have had difficulty converting their success in the regular season into postseason triumphs. GM Rob Blake stressed the necessity for players and staff to accept discomfort in order to achieve success, and he voiced a feeling of urgency about instilling a greater passion to win inside the squad.

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Since he was selected by the Kings in the 1989 NBA Draft, Jim Hiller has been associated with the franchise since his playing days. He is in a good position to guide the squad ahead because of his love for coaching and his background as an NHL player. Hiller said that Stanley Cup-winning coach Jacques Lemaire, who served as his mentor, had influenced his coaching style and mindset.

The Kings have declared that assistant coach D.J. Smith will stay on the coaching staff in addition to keeping Hiller as head coach. Smith, who joined the team in February, will keep assisting Hiller in carrying out the plans the team has developed. The Kings will also bring on a new assistant coach who will specialize on the power play, replacing Hiller, who had this position under McLellan.

It has now been 10 years since the Kings raised the Stanley Cup in Los Angeles after defeating the New York Rangers in five games. They had also won in 2012, being the first team in the NHL’s salary cap era to win two Stanley Cups in three years. 

The Kings are committed to strengthening their defensive base and making the required changes to increase their offensive production. The Kings want to escape their postseason rut and compete at a better level in the upcoming seasons, and they plan to do it with Hiller leading the team and a dedication to consistency among the coaching staff.