The Los Angeles Kings finished the 2016-17 NHL season with a 39-35-8 record and missed the playoffs for the second time in three years. In addition, their 86 points marked the team’s worst outing since 2009. As a result, the franchise moved quickly to make changes.
A day after an overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks, the Kings announced head coach Darryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi have been relieved of their duties. The departures coincided with former players Luc Robitaille and Rob Blake taking up new leadership roles with the franchise according to Kings:
AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, has announced the following changes to the front office of the LA Kings hockey club. Luc Robitaille has been named club President and will now oversee all hockey and business operations, and Rob Blake has been named Vice President and General Manager, and will direct all day to day hockey operations for the organization.
The duo of Sutter and Lombardi helped orchestrate the Kings to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2012. The team won their second two seasons later after surviving three straight Game 7s in the Western Conference playoffs. In their lone playoff appearance since 2014, the Kings lost in the first round to the San Jose Sharks.
Both Robitaille and Blake previously spent time within Kings management prior to being named to their new positions. Robitaille previously handled business operations while Blake served as general manager for the team’s minor league affiliates.