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Former Senators coach D.J. Smith joining Los Angeles Kings as an assistant

FILE -Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith directs the team during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Raleigh, N.C. Former Ottawa Senators coach D.J. Smith was hired as an assistant coach by the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Former Ottawa Senators coach D.J. Smith was hired as an assistant coach by the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

General manger Rob Blake said Monday the Kings were looking to hire an assistant coach from outside the organization after Jim Hiller was named interim coach. Hiller was promoted last Friday after Todd McLellan was fired after four-plus seasons as head coach.

Smith was the fourth NHL coach fired this season on Dec. 18. He was 131-154-32 behind the Ottawa bench without a playoff appearance.

Smith and Hiller spent four seasons together in Toronto as assistants on Mike Babcock's staff.

The Kings (23-15-10) hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 56 points, but are only four points from falling out. They are 3-8-6 in their last 17 games.

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