Ducks replace 2 assistant coaches, hiring Stothers, Ward

NHL Hockey

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)The Anaheim Ducks have hired Geoff Ward and Mike Stothers to replace assistant coaches Mark Morrison and Marty Wilford.

The Ducks announced the overhaul of head coach Dallas Eakins’ staff Tuesday. Morrison and Wilford both could end up in other jobs in the organization.

Anaheim (17-30-9) elected to keep general manager Bob Murray and Eakins earlier this spring after finishing with the worst record by points percentage in franchise history, and the second-worst record in the entire NHL. The Ducks will have the third overall pick in the upcoming draft after missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

Although Eakins kept his job after two losing seasons, Murray said the Ducks would make changes on his staff, particularly to address the inept power play employed by the team that finished last in the league in goals for the second time in three seasons. Anaheim scored on just 8.9% of its power play chances, the worst mark in modern NHL history.

The 59-year-old Ward was the Calgary Flames’ head coach from November 2019 until last March, going 36-26-5 and leading the club to the 2020 playoffs in his first stint in charge of an NHL bench. He has been a head coach in the AHL and in Germany’s top league, and he won a Stanley Cup ring as an assistant with the Boston Bruins in 2011.

The 59-year-old Stothers was the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliate from 2014 until 2020. He won a Calder Cup championship in 2015 and was named the league’s coach of the year. He has been an NHL assistant with Atlanta and Philadelphia.

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