According to John Shannon of Rogers Sportsnet, the Vancouver Canucks have requested to speak with Los Angeles Kings assistant coach John Stevens as they venture to fill their head coaching vacancy in the wake of Alain Vigneault’s dismissal last month.
Canucks have requested to talk to Kings’ Assistant John Stevens. Have yet to hear back from LA.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 10, 2013
According to Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun and Ed Willes of The Province, Stevens could be considered among the frontrunners for the position. Former Canucks and Flyers assistant coach Jack McIlhargey spoke to Pap about Stevens last month. “John definitely wants another opportunity in the National Hockey League,” McIlhargey said of his friend, whom he served under in Philadelphia. Stevens, who coached Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and the Philadelphia Phantoms to a Calder Cup title in 2005, took over for Ken Hitchcock behind the Flyers’ bench early in the 2006-07 season and remained with the club until midway through the 2009-10 season, when he was replaced by Peter Laviolette.
Stevens led the Kings to a 2-2-0 record in the 2011-12 season as an interim coach between the tenures of Terry Murray and Darryl Sutter.
Darryl Sutter on John Stevens:
“Hey, I think Johnny is a head coach. I think he is a head coach with us. [Reporter: What does that make you?] Part of a staff. Again, I’ve always said that. It’s not about a ‘head coach.’ I think everybody has to share responsibility and that’s what good teams do. I’m not one of those guys that has to be the center of attention. And does Johnny Stevens want to be a head coach? Absolutely. But that’s how I feel about him on our staff. It doesn’t really affect anybody else.”