4 LA Kings on Thin Ice Following Jim Hiller Extension as Head Coach

After the Kings signed head coach Jim Hiller to a three-year extension, these four Los Angeles players have found themselves on thin ice.
Which Kings are on thin ice following the Jim Hiller contract extension?
Which Kings are on thin ice following the Jim Hiller contract extension? / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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On Thursday, the Los Angeles Kings officially removed Jim Hiller's interim tag, announcing him as the 30th head coach in franchise history. The deal will see the 55-year-old remain behind the Kings' bench for the next three years with an option for a fourth season, per NHL insider Dennis Bernstein.

After taking over for the fired Todd McLellan in February, Hiller coached the Kings to a 21-12-1 regular-season record. Unfortunately, they ended up falling in five games to the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the postseason, however, Los Angeles fans are hopeful that the Port Alberni, BC native is the right man to lead the club going forward.

Now that Hiller is officially the head coach, expect to see some roster changes in the coming months. General manager Rob Blake will want to give him the best roster possible to succeed in 2024-25, meaning we may have already seen the last of certain players in a Kings jersey.

With that in mind, here are four Kings players who are on thin ice following the Hiller extension.

1. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C/LW

The Kings caused a lot of confusion last offseason when they acquired Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Winnipeg Jets. Not only did they trade three solid players and a second-round draft pick to pull off the trade, but they immediately signed the inconsistent forward to an eight-year, $68 million extension before he even played a game.

Despite playing in all 82 games, Dubois had his worst campaign to date, registering just 16 goals and 40 points — his lowest output in a full-length season. While his offensive production increased after McLellan was fired, the 25-year-old veteran disappeared once the playoffs arrived, finishing with just one goal and four shots in five games.

Considering how his playing time decreased as the season continued, it's fair to say that Dubois isn't one of Hiller's favorite players. He's simply too inconsistent to trust on a nightly basis and isn't worth the price tag he carries.

Trading Dubois won't be an easy task, but we've seen unlikely contracts moved in the past. The Kings will likely have to accept a lesser return to get things done, but that might be well worth it if it means not having him finish the remainder of his deal in Los Angeles.