Kings general manager Rob Blake will continue to meet this weekend with John Stevens, the team’s associate head coach, as Blake takes his first steps in his search for a successor to fired coach Darryl Sutter.
Stevens, who previously coached the Philadelphia Flyers, is highly regarded within hockey circles. But it’s not clear what measures he would propose to increase the Kings’ meager scoring output — a problem that contributed to their second non-playoff finish in three seasons — while ensuring they maintain their defensive excellence. Scoring is a major area of concern for Blake.
“We don’t score. It’s been that way this year,” Blake said Tuesday at his first news conference in his new role. “There needs to be some emphasis on how we’re going to do that.”
If Blake determines that Stevens isn’t right for the job, Blake will expand the scope of his hunt.
A team spokesman said Friday that goaltending coach Bill Ranford will stay with the Kings, as will Mark Yannetti, the club’s director of amateur scouting. The training and scouting staffs also are expected to stay the same under the new regime. Blake was appointed general manager last Monday after the dismissal of Dean Lombardi. Also on Monday, Luc Robitaille was appointed the club’s president and added the responsibility of overseeing hockey operations to his title of president of business operations.
The status of Jack Ferreira, who was special assistant to Lombardi, has not yet been settled. Ferreira’s contract is up but he might stay in another role. Marshall Dickerson, the Kings’ director of team operations, was let go earlier this week, as was assistant coach Davis Payne.
The spokesman also said a few players were deciding whether to undergo surgery to repair various injuries but none has yet informed Blake of a decision.