Darryl Sutter fired as Kings coach
GM Dean Lombardi also out; Luc Robitaille named presidentby Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings fired coach Darryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi on Monday.
Luc Robitaille was named president and will oversee hockey and business operations. Rob Blake, who was Lombardi's assistant, was named vice president and general manager.
Robitaille and Blake, each a Hall of Fame playes, had long and distinguished playing careers with the Kings. Robitaille is the highest-scoring left wing in NHL history with 1,394 points in 1,431 games.
Under Sutter and Lombardi, the Kings won their first Stanley Cup in 2012, and won again in 2014. Since then, they have missed the playoffs two of the past three seasons and lost to the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference First Round in five games last season.
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This season, the Kings (39-35-8) finished fifth in the Pacific Division and 10th in the Western Conference. They struggled to score, tied for fifth-fewest goals in the NHL (201), and faded down the stretch, even after goaltender Jonathan Quick returned to the lineup on Feb. 25. Quick sustained a groin injury in the season opener at San Jose on Oct. 12, and the Kings managed to stay in the playoff race in his absence.
"This was an extremely difficult decision and was made with an enormous amount of consideration for what we have accomplished in our past," Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of AEG, the parent company of the Kings, 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."
Sutter, who was hired in December 2011, won more games than any coach in Kings history (225-147-53). He also guided them to the Western Conference Final in 2013, when they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Lombardi's 425 wins are the most among Kings general managers. Lombardi, hired in 2006, has another year left on his contract. Sutter has another year and an option.