As they parted ways with Mark Morris, the Manchester Monarchs filled the void as they hired Mike Stothers as their next head coach.
The native of Toronto spent the last three seasons coaching the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League. In his maiden season with the Warriors, Stothers led his team to the Conference Finals, but missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
From 2002-03 to 2005-06, Stothers coached the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League before getting his first (and only) crack at coaching in the AHL, as he was the bench boss of the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2007-08. Unfortunately, his team's 31-41-8 record that season was not good enough to make the playoffs. However, that season, Stothers did coach the affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings when the big club won the Stanley Cup.
In regards to his new position, Stothers spoke to LA Kings Insider:
“It’s a great experience, and to be a part of it and to see L.A. hoist the Stanley Cup, it’s a good feeling to be a part of this organization. I couldn’t be happier. I’m thrilled. My family’s thrilled, and you know what? To be reunited with some people that I’ve known for quite a few years and have worked with in the past makes it even better.”
Some of the people Stothers was referring to was current Kings' assistant John Stevens, whom the 52-year-old worked alongside in Philadelphia with AHL's Phantoms from 1998 to 2000. The other is Kings' Vice President of Hockey Operations and Director of Player Personnel Michael Futa, whom he worked with during his days in Owen Sound.
Joining Stothers in Manchester as an assistant coach will be Chris Hajt. The 36-year-old was assistant GM and assistant coach of the reigning OHL champion Guelph Storm.
Last week, Mike Stothers spent time at the Los Angeles Kings' development camp to get a better idea of what to expect next season. More on said camp later.
In the meantime, congratulations is due for both Mike Stothers and Chris Hajt. Here's to a successful tenure in Manchester.