LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings went with experience in choosing a head coach.
Terry Murray, who guided Philadelphia to the Stanley Cup finals 11 years ago and has coached 737 regular-season NHL games, was hired late Wednesday to succeed Marc Crawford. A team spokesman said Murray will be introduced Thursday at an afternoon news conference at the Kings’ training facility in suburban El Segundo.
Murray, who turns 58 on Sunday, has been an assistant with the Flyers since 2003-04. He hadn’t been a head coach in the NHL since being fired by the Florida Panthers following the 2000-01 season. He has a 360-288-89 regular-season record and a 46-43 post-season mark as a head coach with Philadelphia, Washington and Florida.
Murray spent parts of eight seasons in the NHL and WHL as a defenceman before starting his coaching career as an assistant with Washington in 1983. After 1 1/2 seasons as a head coach in the American Hockey League, he was promoted to head coach of the Capitals during the 1989-90 season. They reached the Eastern Conference finals before being eliminated from the playoffs.
The Capitals made the playoffs each of the next two seasons, but didn’t advance past the second round, and Murray was fired 47 games into the 1993-94 season.
Philadelphia hired Murray at the start of the following season, and they reached the conference finals, the conference semifinals, and the Stanley Cup finals in his three seasons. But after the Flyers were swept by Detroit in the Stanley Cup finals, Murray was fired.
Florida then hired Murray as general manager, and in his second season, Doug MacLean was fired as coach and Murray took over. In his two full seasons with the Panthers, they missed the playoffs once and lost in the first round.
Murray then worked as a scout for the Flyers before becoming an assistant coach in 2003.
Murray is not related to former Kings coach Andy Murray, but his brother, Bryan, was the coach and general manager for the Anaheim Ducks.
The 47-year-old Crawford was fired June 10 after two years on the job, coaching the Kings to a 59-84-21 record. He had one year left on his contract. Los Angeles had 71 points last season, tied with Tampa Bay for the fewest in the NHL.
The status of assistant coaches Mike Johnston, Dave Lewis, Jamie Kompon, Bill Ranford and Nelson Emerson is unknown. General manager Dean Lombardi is believed to have interviewed four candidates to succeed Crawford, including Johnston.