Over the past four years the Los Angeles Kings have been one of the worst offensive teams in hockey, finishing higher than 20th in goals scored just one time during that stretch. Overall, their 2.55 goals per game average during that stretch placed them 23rd in the NHL, pretty far below the league average.
They seem to be trying to change that under new coach John Stevens even if the roster is staying mostly the same.
On Monday the team announced the hiring of Pierre Turgeon as an assistant to help round out their coaching staff, and he will join the team with a very specific role: Offensive coordinator.
“We are thrilled to bring Pierre Turgeon aboard to join John Stevens and our coaching staff. For the first time in LA Kings history we will have one coach strictly dedicated to an ‘Offensive Coordinator’ role,” said Kings team president Luc Robitaille in a statement released by the team.
This will be Turgeon’s first coaching job in the NHL.
No matter what Turgeon’s role is or how good he may be at it the key for the Kings will still be the talent on the ice, and there is still some there with Anze Kopitar, Tyler Toffolli, Tanner Pearson, and Jeff Carter in their top-six. It will be interesting to see if there is more potential for the team offensively in a different system. Darryl Sutter’s Kings teams were all about defense and suffocating the oppositions offensive attack, and while it certainly helped them shut teams down, it did very little to create offense at the other end of the ice.
Turgeon was an outstanding offensive player during his NHL career, scoring 515 goals and 812 assists in 1,294 games with the Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, New York Islanders, Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche.
“Pierre had great success as a player and has a tremendous hockey background on the whole. He is a person who brings a lot of energy, passion and insight to the job along with a great deal of enthusiasm about the game,” Stevens said in the Kings’ team statement.
“We look forward to him adding to our team, and to our staff, a real team perspective from a person who was a high-end player, especially in the offensive zone. We have talked a lot during the process of building a coaching staff regarding the qualities of the people we wanted to bring aboard. We feel strongly that Pierre will help compliment myself, Dave Lowry, Don Nachbaur and Bill Ranford and we are together looking forward to the start of the season.”
So far this offseason the biggest addition the Kings have made to their roster has been the signing of Mike Cammalleri after he scored 10 goals and 31 total points in 61 games for the New Jersey Devils a season ago. It will be Cammalleri’s second time with the team.