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Monarchs, Wolf Pack to change coaches

The Manchester Monarchs, the primary affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, announced on Monday that head coach Bruce Boudreau, assistant coach Jim Hughes and assistant coach/strength and conditioning coordinator Dane Jackson have been relieved of their coaching duties with the club.

A search for a head coach and assistant coach will begin shortly. Monarchs general manager Kevin Gilmore, who also serves as vice president of hockey operations and assistant general manager for the Kings, made the announcement.

“Our coaching staff has given us four solid years here in Manchester and their efforts are greatly appreciated. However, the Kings organization firmly believes that a key to developing prospects into NHL impact players, players that will bring winning ways to the Los Angeles Kings, is teaching these young players how to win when the stakes are highest. The inability in each of the last four seasons to elevate the play of our best young prospects to a level that translates to playoff success is something that needs to be corrected. As an organization we felt a coaching change was needed in order to address this. We are most thankful of the work that Bruce, Jim and Dane have done within our organization and wish them nothing but the best in the future.”

Boudreau reacted with the following statement:

“I appreciate the opportunity the Kings gave me and I’d like to thank everybody who made my stay in Manchester so rewarding,” said Boudreau. “The Kings and the Monarchs are first class organizations and I wish them well in the future.”

The Kings originally hired Boudreau on July 26, 1999. He began his tenure with the organization as the head coach of the AHL’s Lowell Lock Monsters, then the Kings’ AHL affiliate, and coached in Lowell for two seasons before transitioning to the Monarchs, who began play in 2001-02. While with Manchester, Boudreau helped guide the Monarchs to a four-year regular-season record of 169-100-33-18 and a 6-14 playoff mark, including a 2-8 record at home in which the club failed to advance to the second round in all four post-season appearances.

Boudreau’s tenure with the Monarchs also included a 2005 Eastern Conference regular season championship and Atlantic Division championship, and three-second place finishes within the division.

Hughes served as Boudreau’s top assistant for two seasons. He oversaw the Monarchs defense and penalty-killing units. Jackson’s stint with the Monarchs also lasted two seasons.

Last week, Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced that the club will not renew the contract of head coach Ryan McGill.

“I would like to thank Ryan for his service and dedication to the Hartford Wolf Pack organization over the past three seasons. After evaluating the situation at our organizational meetings, our decision was that a change would be best at this time,” said Schoenfeld. “We wish Ryan nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

McGill, 36, led the Wolf Pack to a franchise-best 50 wins in 2004-05, going 50-24-3-3 for 106 points. The club also registered a team record 30 home victories. In three seasons behind the Wolf Pack bench, he compiled a record of 127-73-27-13, good for a winning percentage of .613. McGill guided the team to the 2003-04 regular season Eastern Conference title and finished tied for first place overall with a 44-24-12-2 mark for 102 points. That team fell just short of a trip to the Calder Cup Finals, losing in the Eastern Conference Finals to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He became the third head coach in Wolf Pack history on June 27, 2002.

Prior to joining the Pack, McGill coached 350 games in the Western Hockey League, capping it off by steering the Kootenay Ice to the 2001-02 Memorial Cup title, the championship of all of Canadian Major Junior hockey. A second-round draftee of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1987 NHL Draft, he would go on to play a total of 151 career NHL games (totals: 4-15-19, 351 PIM), with the Blackhawks, Philadelphia and Edmonton.