In a bizarrely-timed move, the Los Angeles Kings fired head coach Marc Crawford today. While the Kings have been lousy in Crawford's two years, the timing of this move comes as a big surprise. The Kings season ended in April, the NHL Draft is just a week away, and Kings President and GM Dean Lombardi has repeatedly said over the past few weeks that Crawford's job was safe. The timing of the move also prevents the Kings from looking at some potentially qualified coaches, such as the technologically-savvy Ron Wilson, who just signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Crawford seemed like a good hire two years ago. He had won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, and he coached several winning teams with the Vancouver Canucks. However, his style did appear clash at times with the young and developing Kings squad, and he had the two worst seasons of his career. Still, it appeared that the Kings were going to give Crawford another shot, as they continue to build. Then came today's decision.
I'm not sure why the move was made now, but regardless, the Kings need someone who can elevate the games of young guys like Anze Kopitar to the next level. They also need someone who can work extremely well with Lombardi, and who won't mind having little or no input on the No. 2 overall selection in next week's draft.