INSIDERS. Many of you have already heard this, but if you haven’t, here’s almost 30 minutes of John Stevens talking about his coaching and leadership philosophies, and how they relate to the 2017-18 Los Angeles Kings. It’s a good listen and the only lengthy interview Stevens has conducted since being officially hired in late April. Jesse gets right at it with a question about cultivating leadership, but this conversation really gets going about 13 minutes in when Stevens begins explaining the difference between the culture within the room now and where it was when he first joined the organization some seven years ago. There are interesting “Flyers West” references, which is reinforced by Stevens, who played and worked alongside Ontario Reign Head Coach Mike Stothers in the Philadelphia organization, laying out the importance of building an excellent relationship with the team’s minor league affiliate and development staff in the process of incorporating younger players into an NHL team’s roster. As I reported last week, Stothers had interviewed for one of the open assistant positions along Stevens, but has decided to remain in Ontario. More interviews with prospective assistants are currently taking place.
The pod continues with a discussion about team speed before Stevens leads an interesting appraisal of post-lockout rule changes, the most interesting of which was how teams had to adapt to the shrinking neutral zone, and the impact that puts on quick, fluid up-ice exchanges. Enough of the table of contents; this is a good listen: