After missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, the Los Angeles Kings relieved general manager Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter of their duties. The move also resulted in promotions for President Luc Robitaille and general manager Rob Blake.
Despite the shortcomings during the 2016-17 NHL season, the two long-time King players and executives have high expectations and hope for the franchise. While being introduced, Blake praised Lombardi and Sutter for bringing Los Angeles their first Stanley Cup championship and hopes he too can bring at least one during his tenure, according to Associated Press:
“The success this organization has had, Dean and Darryl took it to new heights,” said Blake, an assistant GM in Los Angeles since 2013. “The opportunity that arose to come and get back to that level again is something you would only dream of.”
Similarly, Robitaille expressed his faith for the team’s potential contention:
“We believe this team has the core in place to compete for the Stanley Cup,” Robitaille said.
The biggest problem the Kings faced during the season was their inability to score goals. Over the course of the season, the team had a net goal differential of minus four. After trading for Jarome Iginla just before the trade line, the Kings hoped to gain enough scoring to vault them into the playoffs.
Other teams were also younger and quicker than the Kings as Robitaille and Blake will look to adjust to the changing league. It may take more than a season, but the Kings should be able to contend again in the near future.