December 12, 2011 3:21 pm

It’s Stevens, but for how long?

What a circle of coaching life it has been for Terry Murray and John Stevens. Early in the 2006-07 season, Ken Hitchcock was fired as the Philadelphia Flyers’ coach and was replaced by Stevens, who had been head coach of Philadelphia AHL’s affiliate. Stevens retained Murray, who had been an assistant coach under Hitchcock. Murray and Stevens spent two seasons together before Murray left to coach the Kings in 2008. Then, 26 games into the 2009-10 season, Stevens was fired. The following summer, Murray hired Stevens to replace Mark Hardy as an assistant coach. Now, Stevens takes over for Murray on an interim basis.

From what I’ve come to understand, the Kings don’t see Stevens as their long-term coach. Keep an eye on the whereabouts of Darryl Sutter in the next few days. Dean Lombardi is very close with Sutter and, as GM in San Jose, hired Sutter in 1997. Sutter left the coaching ranks after the 2005-06 season, as he went from coach/GM to GM, and he left that role last December. I’ll never forget the exchange I had with Lombardi, at the press conference to announce his hiring as Kings’ GM in 2006. It went like this…

Question: “In terms of qualities, what will you be looking for in a coach?”

Lombardi: “Darryl.”

Sutter, at that time, was still the coach in Calgary.

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