On the Los Angeles Kings …
AEG: The LA Kings relieved President and GM Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter of their duties. The Kings have scheduled a press conference at 1:00 pm PST tomorrow.
The Kings have named Luc Robitaille President of hockey and business operations. Rob Blake was named Vice President and General Manager.
President and CEO of AEG (Kings parent company) Dan Beckerman.
“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.”
Some thoughts from the media …
John Hoven: “Told that LA Kings will lay out the timeline/plans for a new head coach at tomorrow’s press conference. But he won’t be named tomorrow.”
Pierre LeBrun: “When I chatted with Lombardi 2 weeks ago, he didn’t sound like a guy on the way out. Had plans/ideas to improve the team moving forward…”
Pierre LeBrun: “So needless to say, this likely would have surprised/stunned him at least to some degree…”
Dan Rosen: “The successful run of Dean Lombardi and Darryl Sutter is over in LA. Luc Robitaille promoted to president, Rob Blake promoted to VP and GM.”
Dan Rosen: “Lombardi was guilty of being emotionally attached to his players, IMO. Almost fatherly and unfailingly loyal. In the end it burned him.”
Dennis Bernstein: “Game changer here in LAnut a necessary one. Kings had grown stale. Team no life down stretch, had grown tired of controlling style of play”
E.J. Hradek: “Great run by Lombardi/Sutter in LA. Two Cups. Time for a change? Probably. Both could be major upgrades for several other franchises.”
David Pagnotta: “Kings players had tuned Sutter out for some time. Team has been pretty tired of his tactics for a while. Lost room, many expected change.”
Dennis Bernstein: (on the first coach who Bernstein would call) “Gerard Gallant. Team would get a huge boost from his demeanor/personality. Think he is clearly the best coach available.”
Dennis Bernstein: (when asked if Mike Futa could be promoted to Blake’s old position) “Futa loyal, enjoys So Cal and his role. It’s not stretch to think he would be happy to stay once dust settles. They really need him now”
Kevin Kurz: “Wonder what the fate of John Stevens is in LA. If he’s not retained, he could get some interest as a head coach somewhere else, too”