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Published: Tuesday, 3/21/2006

L.A. Kings fire coach Andy Murray


LOS ANGELES The Los Angeles Kings fired coach Andy Murray today, one day after the struggling team lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Kings general manager Dave Taylor made the announcement and said that John Torchetti will be introduced as the interim coach on Wednesday.

Murray s assistant coach John Van Boxmeer was also fired.

The Kings (37-28-5) entered the day tied with Edmonton for seventh in the Western Conference playoff race, but the Oilers have two more games remaining than Los Angeles including a home matchup with ninth-place Vancouver tonight. The Canucks started today just one point behind the Kings and Oilers.

Taylor made the move one day after the Kings were beaten 5-0 at home by Colorado, which fueled rumors that Murray s job was in jeopardy.

I ll be fired up tomorrow because if I expect my team to be energized and ready to go to work, I d better make sure I m energized myself, Murray said Monday night. I ve got some friends who are in the car business here, and I m not ready to get back into that business yet, so I want to keep coaching.

Murray has been the Kings coach since the start of the 1999-2000 season. Los Angeles reached the playoffs in his first three years before missing the following two seasons.

Torchetti went 10-12-4-1 as the Florida Panthers interim coach at the end of the 2003-04 season.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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