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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Melrose Displaced: Kings’ Coach Fired Along With His Assistant

Compiled From Wire Services

The Los Angeles Kings, losers of six straight games and on the verge of falling out of playoff contention, fired coach Barry Melrose and assistant Cap Raeder Friday.

The Kings were hit hard by injuries this season.

“We had a ridiculous number of injuries,” said Melrose in an interview with San Diego radio station XTRA. “No team could survive losing four defensemen, five forwards and two goalies.”

XTRA reported team president Rogie Vachon, 49, will be the coach the rest of the season and former Kings star Dave Taylor, 39, assistant to general manager Sam McMaster, will be the assistant.

Melrose, 38, was hired before the 1992-93 season. He was an immediate success, guiding the team to its first Stanley Cup finals appearance. Los Angeles lost the best-of-7 series to Montreal in five games.

However, the Kings have had a horrendous time since then, winning only 40 times in the last 125 games.

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