John Stevens

John Stevens to be Interviewed

The Rangers have expanded their search for a new coach to former Philadelphia Flyers head coach, and current Los Angeles Kings assistant coach John Stevens per the LA Times.  The former NHL defender who played 53 games with the Whalers and Flyers, has a 122-112-34 record, all but four of those coming with the Flyers.

Stevens replaced Ken Hitchcock as the Flyers head coach after the team went 1-6-1 eight games into the 2006-07 season.  The team would end with a franchise worst 56 points, and just 22 wins in 82 games.

His second year on the job, he had the Flyers competitive again.  The team finished 6th in the regular season and followed it up with series wins over the Capitals and Canadiens before losing 4-1 to the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final.  In his final full year as the Philadelphia coach, he saw the team improve to fifth, but was eliminated in the first round – 4-2 again to the Penguins.

An early exit in the playoffs, and a slow start after the Flyers had added Chris Pronger, saw Stevens fired after consecutive shutouts saw the team drop to 13-12-1.  He picked up again the following season with the Kings as an assistant, and survived the ouster of Terry Murray to continue on under Darryl Sutter.

Whether Stevens is a good fit for the Rangers remains to be seen.  In this article from Helene Elliot of the LA Times, by way of Andrew Gross, it suggests that Stevens might have some significant weaknesses.

Full profile of John Stevens’ playing and coaching career at Hockeydb

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