The Los Angeles Kings did not wait long to make changes after missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Head coach Darryl Sutter and Dean Lombardi are out, both relieved of duties by Kings’ ownership.
Lombardi’s replacements were announced along with the dismissals of Sutter and Lombardi. Rob Blake, who has been the Kings’ assistant general manager since 2013, will take over for Lombardi as general manager, while Luc Robitaille will be the new club President.
From the official release, here is AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman on the moves:
"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 move isn’t necessarily a surprise, but after the Kings’ resounding success under Dean Lombardi and Darryl Sutter in this decade, it is still a monumental decision and one which will take some time to fully evaluate. We’ll have more reactions to come.