Jason King. — Telegram file photo
The Winnipeg Jets announced today the organization has hired Jason King as an assistant coach for the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League.
He will join head coach Keith McCambridge and assistant coach Mark Morrison on the IceCaps bench.
The Telegram first reported Thursday that King was set to announce his retirement from hockey today and would remain in a coaching capacity with the organization.
King, 31, played for the IceCaps for the past two seasons. During that time, the right-winger played in 79 games with the club for 45 points (23G, 22A) and 40 penalty minutes.
The Corner Brook native played in 59 NHL games between Vancouver and Anaheim for 23 points (12G, 11A) and eight penalty minutes.
He was originally drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the seventh round, 212th overall, in the 2011 NHL draft.
While the announcement signals the end of his playing days, King says he’s excited to embark on this new path in his hockey career.
“I’m grateful to the Jets and the IceCaps for this opportunity and I look forward to the challenge,” King said in a news release.
“It’s particularly gratifying to be able to take this next step here, in my home province.”
McCambridge says King is a welcome addition to his coaching staff.
"Jason is a high character individual who will be a valuable resource to our young prospects,” McCambridge said. “Although he will be missed in our lineup, I am looking forward to having him as a member of our coaching staff."
IceCaps President and CEO Danny Williams says King means many things to the organization.
“Jason is a proud Newfoundlander and was a great player and leader for the IceCaps,” Williams said. “But he’s also a great family man and has represented the organization with class in the community. We are very pleased to be able to keep Jason in the fold and we wish him the best.”
King announcing retirement
Expected to remain part of the organization in coaching capacity
Corner Brook native Jason King, an original member of the St. John's IceCaps, is expected to announce his retirement as player from pro hockey today. A news conference is planned for 11 o'clock this morning at Mile One Centre, where King will be joined by IceCaps' head coach Keith McCambridge,
King, who turns 32 next month, was limited to only nine games with the American Hockey League's IceCaps last season because of a concussion. He also suffered a head injury earlier in his career when he played for the Manitoba Moose.
King is expected to join the parent Winnipeg Jets' front office, where he will work in hockey development in a coaching capacity.
He will continue to reside in St. John's.
Drafted in the seventh round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, following a three-year career with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Halifax Mooseheads where he piled up 198 points in 186 games, King appeared in 59 NHL games with the Canucks and Anaheim Ducks.
In 2003-04, he netted 12 goals and 21 points on 47 games for Vancouver. The next season, he suffered a concussion in March following an open-ice hit by Rochester Americans defenceman Doug Janik, which cost him the Calder Cup playoffs and much of the 2005-06 season.
King headed overseas to Sweden for the 2006-07 season before giving the NHL one more shot in 2007-08, appearing in four games with the Ducks but otherwise spending most of the year with the AHL's Portland Pirates.
He toiled in Germany for three seasons before returning to North America when the Moose relocated to St. John's to become the IceCaps.
King was fourth in scoring on that first IceCaps squad, with 22 goals and 41 points.
Last season, King appeared in nine of St. John's first 11 games, but was shut down for the remainder of the year. His most recent concussion came about after colliding with a teammate during a pre-game warm-up, of all things.
"A complete accident, and not even a bad hit," he said following the 2012-13 season.
"But as time went on, I wasn't feeling good. It was one of those things where I just felt off ... not right, and I couldn't get back to feeling normal, whatever that is.
"Everything is back to normal life-wise, but hockey-wise, it's not where I want to be, which is pretty frustrating."