Kings part ways with minor-league coach Mike Stothers

Ontario Reign coach Mike Stothers, shown while with the Manchester Monarchs in 2016.
(Steve Babineau / Ontario Reign)

The Kings will not renew the contract of Mike Stothers, the longtime coach of the club’s minor league affiliate in Ontario, the team announced in a statement Saturday.

Stothers was in his sixth season coaching the Reign when the American Hockey League season was suspended in March and later canceled because of the coronavirus crisis. His contract was set to expire June 15.

Stothers coached the AHL club since it was located in Manchester, N.H. He led the team to a Calder Cup title as AHL champions during his first season in 2014-15.

“We appreciate everything Mike has contributed to the organization,” Kings general manager Rob Blake said in the team’s statement. “He has played an important role in helping develop our players and we want to thank him for his years of service and guiding us to a Calder Cup Championship in 2015.”

The rest of the Reign’s coaching staff will remain, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation, who also said there is no timeline on finding a replacement to fill the head coaching vacancy. The team has yet to begin that process.

Stothers is the second-longest tenured member of the franchise to not be retained this summer. Assistant general manager Michael Futa, who had been with the Kings since 2007, also left the team this month after his contract was not renewed.


Kings defenseman Matt Roy said the team voted for the NHL plan to resume play even though it ended their season because it was best for the league.

The Kings’ final roster this season included nine players who spent full seasons under Stothers in their minor league career, many of whom cited the coach’s straightforward style as a key factor in their development.

“He’s probably one of my favorite coaches I’ve ever had,” forward Matt Luff, who played for both the Reign and Kings this season, said earlier this year. “He‘s hard on you, but at the end of the day he really cares about his players. That’s what rubs off.”