Earlier in the hiatus, after the LA Kings parted ways with assistant GM Mike Futa, Rob Blake said that the team was in “no rush” to fill the role.
Two months later, now that the NHL has dates set for the remainder of the 2019-20 season and the start of the 2020-21 league year, Blake and the Kings still have no timeline regarding the hiring, as the general manager said on Kings of the Podcast.
“There will be (an AGM),” Blake told John Hoven and Dennis Bernstein. “The timing I’m not sure on, no rush whatsoever. We have a specific need that we would like to fill that with, but again, I don’t foresee it happening right away here. I think we're going to take the time and make sure it’s the right person.”
Blake did lend some insight as to what the Kings are looking for to fill this position, specifically someone with a more diverse background than what the team already has in its front office.
“What I want is something a little different than what we have now, we got a lot of ex-players,” Blake said. “If we’re all agreeing on the same thing, we’re probably not going to get the right decision, you know. There’s a specific need, the scouting background to me is important, not necessarily a playing background, but the knowledge of hockey, but also with the younger generation, and just, you know, some different ideas. Maybe outside the box a little, not that we’re always going to use them, but I think the combination of all those opinions help you come to a better decision.”
The Mayor (Hoven) made a quick case for Mark Yannetti to take the job, and though Blake heaped a ton of praise on Yannetti’s work as the Director of Amateur Scouting, he made it clear that he doesn’t want to lose Yannetti in that role, which is already so important to what the Kings are trying to accomplish.
Meanwhile, Mike Futa joined The Full 60 with Craig Custance and spoke about how he learned that his contract would not be renewed by the Kings after he had left for Ontario during the start of the pandemic. His parents took it harder than he did, and his mom took down the Rob Blake jersey that was hanging in their home (though Luc Robitaille’s remained up). Futa said he made his mom hang the jersey again because “you’re not going to find a better guy than Rob Blake.”
Futa also shared some fun draft stories about his early days with the Kings, specifically the 2009 Draft when the team drafted Kyle Clifford in the second round. The story involves Clifford apparently threatening to beat up an Atlanta scout, and is well worth a listen.
However the search for a new assistant GM proceeds, the Kings have big shoes to fill with Futa’s departure. Here’s hoping Blake is up to the task.