Kings reportedly to hire Crawford as new coach

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) – Marc Crawford will reportedly be introduced as the new coach of the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

The Kings scheduled a morning news conference and said on Friday that the new coach would be revealed.

Quoting sources, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Kings are expected to hire former Vancouver and Colorado coach Marc Crawford as the replacement for John Torchetti, who was behind the bench for the final 12 games last season after Andy Murray was fired.

The move will be the first made by Dean Lombardi, hired last month to succeed Dave Taylor as general manager.

The 46-year-old Crawford spent the last seven seasons as coach of the Canucks, who made the playoffs four times in a row before finishing ninth in the Western Conference this season.

Crawford, who led the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup championship in 1996, was 246-197-70 with Vancouver, but only won one postseason series. The Canucks twice lost a Game 7 on home ice under his leadership.

Vancouver finished 42-32-8 this season, losing six of its last eight games to fall three points behind Edmonton for the final playoff spot in the West. Crawford, who has 411 wins as an NHL head coach, was fired after the season ended.

The Kings got off to a good start last season, but a late collapse led to the firing of Murray in March and Taylor in April. The Kings were 37-28-5 and tied for seventh in the Western Conference when Murray was dismissed.

, and finished 42-35-5 to miss the playoffs for a third consecutive season.

AP-ES-05-19-06 2005EDT

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