Marco Sturm appointed coach of Ontario Reign

Good morning, Insiders!

Kings today announced a personnel decision, affecting coaching staff at the NHL and AHL levels. Marco Storm, who has been the Kings’ assistant coach since the 2018-2019 season, has been named head coach of the AHL’s Ontario team. The move opens up a place for Todd McClellan’s coaching staff in the NHL, as the position will be set over the summer to join McLellan and Trent Yawney behind the Kings bench.

Sturm joined the organization from the German national team midway through the 2018-19 season, when the Kings made sweeping changes in early November. Sturm joined a revamped coaching staff to close out this season and continued to do so when Kings appointed Todd McClellan in April of 2019. Sturm served as an assistant coach on this team during the 2021-22 season, with the transfer being made here in her off season.

“As part of the Todd crew over the past few seasons, Marco has played an important role in helping to instill a successful discipline for our team and will continue to develop our players at this level,” said Rob Blake, Kings general manager. “This is a good opportunity for Marco and Todd have been very supportive of this transformation.”

Order is an important word when it comes to Sturm, who called “the Temple” when it was initially set up by the Kings in 2018, Detailed here by John Rosen. Kings has completed an overhaul of the organization’s identity and structure over the past three seasons and we’ve seen the fruits of work here in 2021-22. While Todd McClellan has been driving the bus when it comes to those areas, as the team’s head coach, Sturm has had an impact in the process.

“I am a Temple man, I love the Temple,” Sturm said in his opening to the media. “I think you have to be organized to be successful, but on the other side, I was a striker too, so I would like to score goals. Like I said, there are only a few points. You just have to do things a little bit faster, and that’s something I’ve been focusing on in the last year or so. That, and I think that’s something we all as coaches have already agreed on is something we have to do here.”

In addition, the remaining members of the Ontario coaching staff will remain in place for the 2022-23 season. This includes assistant coaches Chris Haggt and Craig Johnson, as well as goalkeeping development coach Matt Millar and video coach Brad Schuller. Each of these four individuals took on extended roles last season due to the departure of John Wroblewski and the effects of COVID-19. Haggt has also worked on some games with Kings as an assistant due to coronavirus-related absences, with McClellan making an impact on both levels.

Sturm is expected to meet with the media at 2 p.m. today via Zoom in what will be his first press conference as a member of the Ontario Reign coaching staff.

From the official statement –

Sturm joined Reign after spending the last four seasons (2018-22) as an assistant coach with the Kings. Last season, Sturm helped the Kings earn their first berth in the playoff since 2017-18 while finishing third in the Pacific Division Ranking. The regular season’s total of 99 points (44-27-11) was the sixth highest number of points earned by a Kings in franchise history.

Prior to joining the Kings coaching staff, the original German Dingolfing served as head coach and general manager for the German national team from 2015 to 2018. During that time, Sturm led his native Germany to unprecedented success, highlighted by his silver medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Germany to the gold medal match in 2016, Sturm and Germany won an Olympic qualifying tournament to earn a place at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Then, in the same tournament, Sturm led Germany to preliminary round victories over Sweden (quarter-finals) and Canada (semi-finals) Before losing to Olympic athletes from Russia in overtime of the gold medal match. His coaching career with Germany also featured a Deutschland Cup title in 2015 and two quarter-final matches at the Men’s World Championships in 2016 and 2017.

A veteran of 938 NHL games, Sturm scored 487 points (242-245 = 487), a career rating plus 59 and 446 penalty minutes over the course of 14 NHL seasons. Originally drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the first round (21 total) of the 1996 NHL Draft entry, Sturm went on to play for six different teams, including the Kings, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Sharks, Vancouver Canucks and Washington Capitals.

Internationally, Sturm has skated for Germany at three Winter Olympics (1998, 2002, 2010), the Hockey World Cup (2004), four IIHF Men’s World Championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2008), and the IIHF World Junior Championships (1995, 1996) ). In 44 matches with the German national team, he scored 21 points (13-8 = 21) and 46 minutes of penalty kicks.