LA Kings, New Jersey Devils Make Head Coaching Decisions

Two of the remaining head coaching vacancies in the NHL are closing. The Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils have made decisions on their bench bosses for the coming season. The Kings will move forward with a familiar name, while the Devils hit the market for a candidate who only became available quite recently.

Sheldon Keefe to the New Jersey

Less than two weeks after he was relieved of his duties by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Sheldon Keefe has found his next job. According to a number of reports on Wednesday, Keefe will be the next head coach of the New Jersey Devils.

Keefe coached the Maple Leafs to a 212-97-40 record in 349 regular season games. The Devils have not yet announced the hire, but multiple outlets have confirmed the report. He will reportedly get a four-year deal.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Hiller Staying in LA

On Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Kings will introduce their “new” head coach. Jim Hiller is having the interim tag removed and getting the full-time gig. He will be introduced in a press conference at 10 AM PT.

Hiller, 55, was originally elevated to Kings interim head coach on Feb. 2, 2024, after serving as an assistant coach during the previous two seasons under Todd McLellan. During his time behind the bench as the interim coach, he led the Kings to a 21-12-1 record for 43 points and a .632 points percentage.

This is a fun note from the team’s release:

Hiller made his head coaching debut on Feb. 10 against the Edmonton Oilers to become the 18th different head coach in league history to make their coaching debut with the team that originally drafted them, and the first to do so since Phil Housley(6th overall, 1982 by Buffalo).

Hiller joined the Kings as an assistant coach on July 19, 2022, after spending the previous eight seasons in the same capacity with the New York Islanders (2019-22), Toronto Maple Leafs (2015-19) and Detroit Red Wings (2014-15).

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Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

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