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Kings fire head coach Todd McLellan after hitting January slump

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The Los Angeles Kings have fired head coach Todd McLellan, the team announced on Friday. McLellan was in his fifth season with the Kings, and the team has been reeling after a strong start to the 2023-24 campaign.

Kings vice president and general manager Rob Blake announced the move in a press release on Friday morning. Blake thanked McLellan for his contributions to the franchise and named assistant coach Jim Hiller as the interim head coach.

“We want to thank Todd for his hard work and dedication to the organization,” Blake said. “He has done a tremendous job in moving us forward and making a positive impact on our group and in our community. This was not an easy decision, but we felt the change was necessary at this time. Jim is a well-respected member of our staff who is familiar with our players. We are confident in his ability to lead our team effectively during this pivotal time.”

The Kings came into the season hoping to emerge as Stanley Cup contenders in the Western Conference, and through December, they looked the part. When the calendar flipped to January, Los Angeles was 20-8-5, the fifth-best team in the NHL by point percentage.

However, the Kings hit a rut in January, and they couldn’t climb out of it. Los Angeles went 3-7-5 with a goal differential of minus-14 in January. That dropped the team to fourth in the Pacific Division and into a crowded playoff race for one of the West’s two wild card spots.

McLellan leaves the Kings with an overall record of 164-130-44 and a playoff record of 5-8.

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