Los Angeles Kings fire coach Darryl Sutter, general manager Dean Lombardi

After missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, the Los Angeles Kings are cleaning house.

The team announced Monday that coach Darryl Sutter and president/general manager Dean Lombardi have been fired.

The duo brought two Stanley Cups to Los Angeles, marking the Kings’ only championships in team history.

Kings legend Luc Robitaille has been promoted to team president, while fellow Hockey Hall of Famer Rob Blake will take on the vice president and general manager role.

Sutter took the Kings job after Terry Murray was fired during the 2011-12 season, leading the No. 8 seed Kings on a dominant 16-4 run to their first championship. In 2014, he led the Kings to their second title in a different way, becoming the first team to win three Game 7s en route to the Stanley Cup Final.

Lombardi was the architect of those Stanley Cup teams, taking over as president and general manager in April 2006.

The 58-year-old Sutter exits as the Kings’ all-time winningest coach with a 225-147-53 record. But Sutter’s last three seasons did not match his first three.

The Kings missed the playoffs in 2015, and had a disappointing five-game exit from the playoffs in 2016 — a season that saw the Anaheim Ducks edge by them for the division title on the season’s final day, setting up a first-round series in which the Kings lost to the rival Sharks 4-1. The Kings then missed the playoffs again in 2017.

This past season, the Kings lost starting goaltender Jonathan Quick for the bulk of the year on the season’s first day and struggled to find the back of the net, finishing 25th in goals for. They finished 39-35-8, eight points back of the Nashville Predators for the final playoff spot.

For his part, Lombardi was the longest-tenured GM in team history. Los Angeles went 425-339-104 under his watch, and a number of his trades (namely acquiring Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik mid-season) led directly to the Kings’ Stanley Cups

“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,” Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of AEG, said in a statement.

“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.”

New president Robitaille and new general manager Blake had previously served as president of business operations and vice president/assistant general manager, respectively.

“This restructuring of the front-office will establish a single leader of the organization that will provide a unified vision, focus and alignment between the team side and the business side,” Beckerman said in the statement. “It mirrors the same structure we recently implemented with the LA Galaxy and it will not only enable the integration of these two sides of the club into a single organization but will bring symmetry between the Kings and Galaxy.”

The Kings are set to hold a press conference on Tuesday.

 

Source-usatoday.com

Share this post on social media

Leave a Reply