TOM WEBSTER
KINGS HEAD COACH 1989-92

All-Time Kings Coaches | Current Kings Coaches

Tom Webster was hired as the Kings head coach on May 31, 1989 served as head coach for the Los Angeles Kings from 1989-92, leading the Kings to the playoffs in all three seasons in posting a 115-94-31 in 240 games. His .544 winning percentage is the best in Kings history.

His best season came in 1990-91, where Webster finished as the runner-up for the Adams Trophy as the NHL’s Coach of the Year in just his second full season as an NHL coach by leading the Kings to the Smythe Division title and the third-best record in the league in 1990-91 (46-24-10).

The Kings’ head man, however, was recognized by The Sporting News as NHL’s top coach in 1990-91. Webster’s philosophy of hard work at both ends of the ice paid off handsomely that season as the Kings sported the best goals for/goals against differential (plus-86) in the NHL, scoring 340 goals and allowing 254 (fourth best in the league).

His reputation as a coach is such that he earned an appointment as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 1991 Canada Cup.

Webster led the Kings to a 34-39-7 record in his debut season in Los Angeles in 1989-90. He was hindered by an inner ear ailment early in the second half of the season that required surgery and forced him off the bench for 15 games. If Webster had his share of hard luck in 1989-90 during the regular season, he certainly had the Kings primed for a superior effort during the playoffs.

The Kings were underdogs against the defending Stanley Cup-champion Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs, but like a team on a mission, they went on and defeated the Flames in six games.

Webster also led the Kings to the playoffs in 1991-92, after a 35-31-14 record. But after his team was dispatched in six games by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Webster was relieved of his duties and replaced with Barry Melrose on May 4, 1992.

Prior to joining the Kings 1989, Webster was coach of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, having led the club to the Robertson Cup title in 1988.

Webster also coached the Canadian National Junior team at the 1989 World Junior Championships (Canada finished fourth). His first stint at Windsor was in 1985-86 and in the early part of 1986-87 when he got his first chance as an NHL head coach the following season with the New York Rangers. An inner ear problem (similar to the ailment in 1990) forced him to resign, leaving the Rangers after 16 games (his record was 5-7-4). He returned to Windsor the following year.

Webster started his coaching career in the AHL, spending two years at Adirondack (first as an assistant, then as co-coach in 1979-80 and 1980-81) and one year at Springfield (1981-82). His second club at Adirondack won the 1981 Calder Cup.

After two seasons with Tulsa in the CHL (during which the Oilers won the Adams Cup and Webster was named Minor League Coach of the Year), Webster coached the IHL’s Salt Lake City club in 1984-85 before joining Windsor. A high-scoring right wing during his playing days, Webster scored 220 goals and 205 assists in seven seasons with the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association (1972-78). He led the Whalers in goals scored three straight years and was team MVP in 1974-75. Webster was also a veteran of five NHL seasons (he had 33 goals and 42 assists), playing for Boston, Detroit and Oakland. He retired during the 1979-80 season.

After his time with the Kings, Webster was an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers from 1994-96, and with the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes from 1996-99. He returned to the OHL after that as head coach of the Windsor Spitfires from 1999-2003.

REGULAR SEASON POSTSEASON
YEARS
G
W
L
T
OTL
PTS
PCT
GP
W
L
1989-90
80
34
39
7
-
75
.469
10
4
6
1990-91
80
46
24
10
-
102
.638
12
6
6
1991-92
80
35
31
14
-
84
.525
6
2
4
TOTALS
240
115
306
79
-
645
.483
28
12
16