Originally written on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 12/12/11

You can officially add Terry Murray to the growing list of NHL coaches that started the year employed only to be fired during the season. The LA Kings announced Monday afternoon that Murray had been released and assistant coach John Stevens will be the new coach on an interim basis.

As many outlets have reported, it was a matter of "when" and not "if" for coach Murray.

Honestly, are any of you surprised to read this?

Murray's days have been numbered for quite some time, and to many, the decision by LA to move to a new coach actually took longer than expected. As of Murray's termination, the Kings sat fourth in a crowded Pacific division and 12th in the competitive Western Conference. The Kings record at home had sank to a mediocre 8-9-1 and the team was 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.

LA has thrived defensively and on the penalty kill, but when it comes to anything offensively related, the Kings have struggled - and that's being kind.

As of his firing, Murray's Kings were ranked 30th in the NHL in offense, averaging a modest 2.2 goals per contest. Nearly equally as disappointing is the club's power play, which currently is ranked 21st, converting 16.7% of the time.

The Kings have had to deal with injuries to key players, specifically one of their hottest hands in Mike Richards, which has been a reason as to why the Kings have struggled so much on offense. However, this does not explain why a player such as Drew Doughty has struggled so much in 2011-12. Critics have pointed to the scheme and planning, which is likely why Murray has been shown the door.

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports that a King that preferred to not be identified had this to say in response to Murray's termination, "I think it had to happen. We were dead."

No argument here, as the Kings have dropped four of their five contests in the month of December.

Now, the Kings will determine whether Stevens is the right man behind the bench or whether a more permanent option needs to be brought in (we are leaning on a new face being brought in). Also, no longer can the Kings point to Murray as an excuse for their poor offense and execution. The players themselves now need to step up, and convert on their opportunities now that the head coach has been removed.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kevin Sumlin: Texas A&M players have 'chip on their shoulder'

WATCH: Elvis Andrus steals home against Padres

Seahawks went on Hawaiian vacation to ease SB tension

Robert Kraft: Deflategate 'most overblown story' in NFL

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Jim Tressel once sent touching note to family of Michigan OL


Sony cut 'Concussion' scenes to avoid angering NFL

Ryan Clark: Trent Richardson is 'worst RB of all time'

Report: David Feherty won't be back at CBS Sports

Warren Moon: RG3 needs to start taking the blame

Lovullo: I don’t see Hanley Ramirez playing left field again in 2015

Judge Berman’s one-sentence order repeats Deflategate decision timeline

Harbaugh named starting QB but won't announce it

Ohio State downplays revenge talk ahead of Va. Tech rematch

WATCH: D-backs pitcher fails on quick pitch attempt

Ex-FSU WR Snoop Minnis trolls rival Florida in great way

Suspicous photo may lead to drug test for CC Sabathia

How the Houston Astros went from garbage to gold

Jack Eichel plans to move in with teammate Matt Moulson

Report: Bills GM 'went rogue’ in cutting Fred Jackson

Terrance Knighton irked by Redskins-Kardsashians comparison

Connor Cook on not being named Michigan State captain: 'It stinks'

Danny Amendola’s advice to those on roster bubble? ‘Control what you can’

Dallas Cowboys: Rookies to watch

Apple reportedly sought exclusive rights to new Bill Simmons podcast

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker