KINGS PRESIDENT/GM DAVE TAYLOR RELIEVED OF HIS DUTIES
The Kings also today announced that the current contracts of the entire coaching staff – Interim Head Coach John Torchetti, Assistant Coaches Mark Hardy and Ray Bennett, and Goaltending Consultant Andy Nowicki – will not be renewed, and Bill O'Flaherty, the Kings' Director of Player Personnel since 1997, has also been relieved of his duties by the organization.
In addition, Kevin Gilmore, the Kings' Vice President of Hockey Operations/Assistant General Manager, will be re-assigned within AEG, the parent company of the Kings. He spent seven full seasons with the Kings and was active in assisting Taylor in contract negotiations and all facets of the Kings hockey operations department.
"I'm very grateful to Dave and appreciative of his 29 years of service to the Los Angeles Kings," said Leiweke, who today held a press conference at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo to announce the changes. "He has been loyal to the Kings sweater from Day One and continues to be. We have offered him an opportunity to remain with the organization in a capacity to be determined. That decision is his, and will be dependent on his discussions in the future with our new leadership."
Taylor was named the Kings' Vice President/General Manager on April 22, 1997, and during his nine years (including the 2004-05 NHL lockout) as General Manager the Kings recorded a 290-261-105 (includes 74 ties) regular season record and made the playoffs four times (1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002). The Kings advanced to the second round of the playoffs once while recording a cumulative 10-18 post-season record under Taylor.
The highlight of Taylor's front office tenure was when the Kings upset the Detroit Red Wings in a 2001 first-round playoff series. He was named by The Hockey News as the NHL Executive of the Year at the end of that 2000-01 season.
The seventh General Manager in Kings history, Taylor played for the Kings for 17 seasons from 1977-94. Upon his retirement as a player, he had his No. 18 retired by the club and then was hired in the front office and named Assistant to the General Manager, before adding Director of Player Development responsibilities one season later.
Taylor was promoted on September 12, 2005, to his most recent position of President, Hockey Operations/General Manager from Senior Vice President/General Manager.
Torchetti was named the Kings Interim Head Coach on March 22. Under Torchetti, the Kings posted a 5-7-0 record and did not qualify for the playoffs. He replaced then-Head Coach Andy Murray, who had been relieved of his Kings head coaching duties on March 21 along with Kings Assistant Coach John Van Boxmeer.
Hardy had served as a Kings Assistant Coach for seven seasons, where his primary focus was on the penalty kill and overall play without the puck. He also served as a Kings defenseman for parts of 10 seasons (1979-88 and 1992-94).
Bennett was also a Kings Assistant Coach for seven seasons. He was involved in all areas of tactical and technical play while working specifically with video analysis and computer assistance.
Nowicki was hired by the Kings in the summer of 2001 and worked specifically with the organization's goaltenders.
O'Flaherty just completed his ninth season with the Kings, where he oversaw the Kings minor league operations, including professional and amateur scouting, advance scouting and player development.