Kings grant teams permission to interview assistant coach Stevens


Now out of the playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings have granted other teams permission to speak with assistant coach John Stevens, reports Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times.

Stevens — a former bench boss in Philadelphia — is considered one of the top candidates to replace Alain Vigneault in Vancouver.

Other head-coaching vacancies exist in Dallas and New York (Rangers).

“John definitely wants another opportunity in the National Hockey League,” former Flyers assistant under Stevens, Jack McIlhargey, told the Vancouver Sun recently. “That’s his goal. He’s a classy guy who does an excellent job. He’s very organized, very knowledgeable and a very good communicator.

“He deserves another chance and he is ready. He’s a very, very good coach.”

Stevens has also been a head coach in the AHL (Philadelphia Phantoms, 2000-06), so he has experience developing younger players, something that Canucks general manager Mike Gillis has said will be a prerequisite for landing the job in Vancouver.