LA Kings remove interim tag and Name Jim Hiller permanent Head Coach

By Joe “Big Head” Coopersmith

Jim Hiller, as LA Kings interim coach at Pittsburgh, 2 18 2024, giving instructions to players (courtesy IMAGN, photo by Charles LeClaire, USA Today Sports)

Hiller will be formally unveiled in a press conference on Thursday, 5/23, at 10 AM


May 22, 2024


The LA Kings have named Jim Hiller as the club’s 30th head coach in franchise history, it was announced today by Vice President and General Manager Rob Blake.

Hiller, 55, was originally elevated to Kings interim head coach on Feb. 2, 2024, after serving as an assistant coach over the past two seasons. 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).

In 34 games regular-season games, Hiller led the Kings to a 21-12-1 record for 43 points and a .632 points percentage, the 10th-best points percentage in the league during that time, en route to the club’s third consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Under Hiller’s guidance, the Kings were statistically the best home team from the All-Star Break through the end of the regular-season, accumulating a league-leading 14 wins (14-3-1), 29 points and .806 points percentage in 18 games at Arena. The club finished the regular-season winning nine of their last 10 home contests, which included eight consecutive victories on home ice from March 11 through April 13 to mark the team’s longest home winning streak since their eight-game run (8-0-0; Oct. 12 – Nov. 13) in the 2010-11 campaign.

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). Since Hiller joined the coaching staff, the Kings have scored 124 power-play goals, tied for the fifth-most in the league during that span, while the team’s power-play percentage has averaged 24.0% to place seventh among all teams. Under Hiller’s watch in his first season with the organization, the Kings tallied 68 power-play goals, the fourth-most in the league, while their power-play percentage finished the year at 25.3%, tied for the second-best in team history behind the 1979-80 team (26.8%).

Prior to his NHL coaching debut with Detroit, Hiller spent 12 seasons coaching junior hockey in Canada between the Western Hockey League (WHL) and British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). Hiller began coaching in 2002 with the Tri-City Americans (WHL), where he spent two seasons before taking the helm behind the bench of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL) during the 2005-06 campaign. Hiller returned to the WHL the following year as head coach of the then-expansion Chilliwack Bruins, leading the Bruins to the playoffs in their first season.

Following three seasons with Chilliwack (2006-09), Hiller returned to Tri-City from 2009-14. During the first season of his second stint with Tri-City, Hiller led the Americans to a division title, conference title and WHL Championship Series appearance. In total, he coached Tri-City to two division titles (2009-10, 2011-12) and five consecutive playoff berths over his five seasons. He was awarded the CHL’s Brian Kilrea Award and WHL’s Dunc McCallum Award for Coach of the Year for 2011-12, leading Tri-City to a 50-18-2-2 record with 104 points.

A native of Port Alberni, British Columbia, Hiller served as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia, helping guide his home country to its third consecutive championship. Hiller was originally selected by the Kings in the 10th round (207th overall) of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. In total, Hiller appeared in 40 games for the Kings, recording six goals and 12 points. Hiller suited up for 63 career NHL games, registering eight goals, 12 assists and 20 points.



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