Los Angeles Kings assistant coach John Stevens is drawing considerable interest from the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers, according to several reports. Though he is set to interview with New York, according to a report by Lisa Dillman of the LA Times, David Ebner of The Globe and Mail writes that he “is the perceived front-runner” for the Vancouver opening created when Alain Vigneault was fired in May.

Said Ebner:

What makes Stevens the Canucks’ front runner is his glove-like fit with the team’s needs, which are essentially twofold. First, there is a veteran core – led by the Sedins – which will likely remain unchanged despite president and general manager Mike Gillis’s talk of a “reset.” Stevens has NHL experience and the ability to manage a team that considers itself close to Stanley Cup contention.

Second, Vancouver will rely much more heavily on younger players next year. This is where fired Alain Vigneault was less strong, specifically because he unforgiving of mistakes – see: Zack Kassian.

Stevens won the AHL championship, the Calder Cup, in 2005. It is a trophy he lifted three times as a player, in 1988, 1991, and 1998 – and in 2011 was inducted into the AHL hall of fame.

There are three coaching openings in the NHL: Vancouver, Dallas and New York. Former Rangers coach John Tortorella has interviewed in Vancouver, while Vigneault has interviewed in New York and “is believed to have made a favorable impression” on general manager Glen Sather, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

Other potential candidates to fill the open positions are Glen Gulutzan, who was let go by Dallas after Jim Nill became the team’s general manager, Scott Arniel, who guided Columbus until midway through the 2011-12 season, and Lindy Ruff, who was dismissed after 16 seasons behind the bench of the Buffalo Sabres.

Mark Messier is considered to be “still in the mix” for the Rangers position, according to the Post’s report. Dave Tippett, who has previously expressed his desire to remain in Phoenix, may emerge as a preferred candidate should the franchise’s ownership stability and long-term commitment to the city of Glendale remain vague in advance of his contract’s expiration on June 30. The Coyotes have not granted other teams permission to speak with Tippett.

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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