Some news, Insiders!
The LA Kings announced today that longtime goaltending coach Bill Ranford has been promoted to serve as the organization’s Director of Goaltending, following 17 years as the team’s goaltending coach. Additionally, current Kings goaltending development coach Matt Millar has been named as the North American Goalie Scout, working in support of Ranford and the organization’s goaltending objectives moving forward.
What this means is two things.
One, the Kings are expanding their resources invested into the goaltending position.
This is a new role and a new position within the Kings hierarchy at the executive level, not simply Ranford replacing an existing member of the front office. Ranford is naturally the prime candidate from an internal standpoint, considering his experience as the club’s goaltending coach, but that also means leaving the day-to-day role he’s occupied for so many years. In doing so, this adds a seat the table, if you will, for a goaltending specific department within the hierarchy of the Kings management team. Millar’s role is also changing, as he moves from a coaching role with the organization’s prospects to a scouting role throughout North America. Ranford’s oversight will include the team’s coaching direction for goaltenders, as well as scouting and development direction moving forward, both with goaltenders currently within the organization and those who are external.
Secondly, it means that both the Kings and Ontario Reign will have new goaltending coaches this season.
As noted, Ranford has been in his role for several years, originally joining the Kings in 2006. As several coaching regimes have turned over, Ranford has been one of the organization’s constants, serving as a bridge between different coaching staffs as he’s worked closely with the goaltenders who have come through the system. For the first time since the 2005-06 season, the Kings will have a new person in that role and that represents a large-scale change. On the AHL side, Millar was initially hired in 2019 to replace Dusty Imoo and has worked with the organization’s up-and-coming goaltenders over the past four seasons in an on-ice, coaching role. He’ll now work in more of a scouting capacity, with a new face taking on the day-to-day in Ontario as well as Greenville and goaltenders who have been drafted and are playing at the amateur level either in juniors, college or overseas.
The release states that the organization is actively searching for candidates to fill both positions immediately, with one position available on each staff.
This is the first real change for the Kings this offseason. The Kings made one change last season, as Marco Sturm moved from an assistant in Los Angeles to the head-coaching role in Ontario, with Jim Hiller joining as an assistant with the Kings. Now, it’s Ranford moving into a new position and a new face assuming the title with the NHL club. At a position with just three players under contract moving forward, there could be a couple of new faces throughout the organization for next year and that will work both on and off the ice.
From the team’s official release –
The LA Kings announced today that Bill Ranford has been promoted to Director of Goaltending after serving the last 17 years with the Kings as goaltending coach.
In his new role, Ranford will oversee all aspects of the organization’s goaltending department, including coaching, development, programming and scouting. In addition, Matt Millar has been named North American Goalie Scout and will see him support Ranford and the club’s goaltending objectives. The Kings are actively pursuing candidates to fill goaltending coach roles at both the NHL and AHL level.
Since joining the club’s coaching staff in July 2006, Ranford and the Kings have captured two Stanley Cups (2012, 2014) while the Kings rewrote nearly every single-season and playoff statistical goaltending record in Kings franchise history. A two-time Stanley Cup Champion as a player (1988, 1990) with the Edmonton Oilers, Ranford won the Conn Smythe Trophy and shares the single-season playoff record for most wins (16) in 1990. Originally selected by the Boston Bruins in the third-round (52nd overall) of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, Ranford owns a 240-279-76 record in 647 games over 15 seasons with the Oilers, Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals. Prior to joining the Kings staff, Ranford served as goaltending consultant for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL (2004-06) and the Burnaby Express of the BCHL of which he was a part-owner.
Millar served the last four seasons as goaltending development coach for the Ontario Reign, the AHL affiliate of the LA Kings, after joining in 2019-20. Prior to joining the Kings, Millar served as director of hockey operations and goaltending coach for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League (USHL) from 2013-2019. In his six years with the Fighting Saints, the team qualified for the playoffs each season, winning at least one playoff series each year, including an appearance in the Clark Cup Finals in 2016. The El Segundo, Calif. native has also spent time with the Arizona Coyotes, USA Hockey and his alma mater, Bethel University.