The Los Angeles Kings spent the 2017 NHL offseason looking to bounce back from missing the playoffs for the second time in three years. Changes led to Luc Robitaille becoming the new team president while Rob Blake and John Stevens took over as general manager and head coach, respectively.
After a series of personnel moves, Robitaille penned an open letter and expressed his optimism for improvement during the upcoming season and for years to come, according to the Kings:
Our hockey operations team, led by Rob Blake and John Stevens, believe in the collective make-up of this group. Since taking over back in April, they have already made improvements highlighted by significant changes to our coaching staff that will emphasize creativity, while focusing on implementing an effective offensive approach, as well as maintaining our stalwart defensive game.
As Robitaille alluded, the Kings emphasized a new attack for the 2017-18 NHL season as the team only managed to reach the back of the net 201 times. Both Blake and Stevens previously mentioned the importance of being able to create and capitalize from the middle of the ice. In addition, former NHL center Pierre Turgeon joined the coaching staff as an offensive coordinator to help in the process.
Despite the new management structure up top, the roster remains mostly the same. The Kings remained one of the NHL’s top defensive teams in 2016-17 and should continue to do so come October. Should Stevens and his staff fix the scoring woes, a return to the postseason is highly likely for the Kings.