Reports have circulated that Los Angeles Kings assistant coach John Stevens has drawn interest from the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes, two teams with vacant head coaching positions.
Carolina and Pittsburgh have asked the LA Kings for permission to interview John Stevens.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 17, 2014
It is also possible that the Vancouver Canucks have inquired about Stevens – keep in mind that they did so within a week of the Kings’ season ending last year before hiring John Tortorella – but at this point there is no firm link. Mike Johnston, general manager and head coach of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks and a former Los Angeles assistant, has already interviewed in Vancouver.
Willie Desjardins, who coached Linden Vey in Medicine Hat before becoming an associate head coach in Dallas, and, for the last two seasons, the Texas Stars head coach, is also a candidate to become a head coach. Texas won the Calder Cup on Patrik Nemeth’s Game 5 overtime game-winner against St. John’s last night.
New York Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson is also a candidate for the vacant positions in Pittsburgh and Carolina.
The Florida Panthers are also looking to hire a coach in advance of next week’s NHL Draft. Dan Bylsma, Gerard Gallant and former Kings coach Marc Crawford are “being seriously considered,” as reported by George Richards of the Miami Herald.