A major transition for the Los Angeles Kings franchise.
The Los Angeles Kings are turning the page from their Stanley Cup years with two big front office shake-ups on Monday evening.
The Kings announced that general manager Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter had been fired on Monday. Franchise legend Luc Robitaille will become club President and Kings Hall of Famer Rob Blake will take over GM duties.
Dan Beckerman, President and CEO of Kings parent company AEG, made the announcement on Monday evening in a statement.
“This was an extremely difficult decision and was made with an enormous amount of consideration for what we have accomplished in our past. But the present and future of our organization is the highest priority,” said Beckerman. “Words cannot express our gratitude and appreciation for what Dean and Darryl have accomplished for the Kings franchise. They built this team and helped lead us to two Stanley Cup Championships and will forever be remembered as all-time greats in Kings history. But with that level of accomplishment comes high expectations and we have not met those expectations for the last three seasons. With the core players we have in place, we should be contending each year for the Stanley Cup. Our failure to meet these goals has led us to this change.”
The Kings will hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon from Staples Center in Los Angeles to discuss the news.
The departure of Lombardi and Sutter are not insignificant, as both men molded the Kings into one of the NHL’s most efficiently tough franchises en route to Stanley Cup wins in 2012 and 2014. But both have come under fire in recent seasons as the Kings seemed to stall after half a decade of success.
Sutter, in particular, has been hounded by rumors the last few seasons. He finishes his Kings run with a franchise-best 225-147-53 record and the second-most games coached in L.A.
Lombardi has also been scrutinized outside of the Kings for his personnel evaluations after highly disappointing showings for USA Hockey at the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Lombardi is the general manager for Team USA.
Los Angeles was never truly in contention for another Cup this year, and fell out of the playoff race despite two trade deadline moves that brought Ben Bishop and Jarome Iginla to Los Angeles for the stretch run.