After another disappointing season it was announced on Monday that the Kings fired their general manager and president Dean Lombardi as well as head coach Darryl Sutter. Under Sutter and Lombardi, the Kings won their first Stanley Cup championship in 2012, and again in 2014, but since then they have missed the playoffs two of the past three seasons.
“This was an extremely difficult decision and was made with an enormous amount of consideration for what we have accomplished in our past,” AEG president and chief executive officer Dan Beckerman said in a statement. “But the present and future of our organization is the highest priority. 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.”
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) April 11, 2017
In the wake of the firings, former Kings defenseman Rob Blake has been named the team’s new GM and vice president and Kings Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille has been promoted to team president. Blake will take over the day-to-day operations of the club, while Robitaille will oversee all hockey and business operations. Both players have had long and distinguished playing careers with the Kings.
The removal of Sutter doesn’t come as a huge surprise as he refused to integrate players who could score into the lineup. As a result, he got the boot despite being the winningest coach in Kings history. On the other hand Lombardi’s removal is surprising as he was the winningest and longest-serving GM in franchise history.