L.A. Kings do a little spring cleaning

Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, center top, puts his hand on his head as, from the left, Tanner Pearson, Nic Dowd, Dwight King, and Nick Shore, watch from the bench in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in Boston. The Bruins won 1-0. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The Kings made the right decision firing coach Darryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi. Do you agree?

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The story:

The Los Angeles Kings announced sweeping changes to their front office Monday, firing longtime general manager Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter in the process. Assistant general manager Rob Blake was promoted to general manager while longtime Kings business executive Luc Robitaille was named team president. The changes come after the Kings missed the playoffs for the second time in three years. They haven’t won a playoff round since winning the Stanley Cup in June 2014.

What they accomplished:

Lombardi was let go after 11 years at the helm. He built a team that won the Kings their two Stanley Cups in franchise history in 2012 and 2014, both with Sutter behind the bench. … Sutter is the winningest coach in Kings history at 225-147-53, while Lombardi is the winningest and longest-serving GM in franchise history. He coached in Chicago, San Jose and Calgary before landing in Los Angeles. The former Blackhawks forward from one of hockey’s most legendary families runs a farm in Viking, Alberta, during the offseason, but he seemed to adjust well to the Kings’ beachside lifestyle.

CEO of the Kings Parent Compay, Dan 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,” Beckerman said. “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.”

Blake and Robitaille:

Blake and Robitaille each played over ten seasons with the Kings as players, and they have 15 All-Star appearances between the two of them. Blake has been Lombardi’s assistant GM for four years, while Robitaille has been with the team since 2007 as the president of business operations. It’s clear that AEG wants to go in a new direction, one that features former star players.

Craig Custance from ESPN:

I thought Dean Lombardi certainly earned the chance for at least one more season in Los Angeles. The guy won two Stanley Cups, after all. But this is an unforgiving business, and in winning those Cups, he raised the expectations to a level so high that it ended up costing him his job when they weren’t met.

Pierre LeBrun:

When I spoke with Dean Lombardi two weeks ago, there was zero sense from him that he knew this was coming. He sounded energetic, had already spent most of March bouncing all kinds of ideas off assistant GM Blake as they tackled a season gone wrong and what needed to be done. Specifically, Lombardi talked to me about how it was clear his team needed to adapt to the faster NHL. His heavy and hard Kings won two Cups, but he knew they had to change. He won’t get that chance. Was it a harsh decision by the Kings after Lombardi helped them win two Cups? Perhaps. But it has been three tough years for the Kings, who, since winning the Cup in 2014, have missed the playoffs in two years and were knocked out in the first round in the other.

From TSN:

The 59-year-old Lombardi’s loyalty to the Kings’ championship-winning core has tied up their future payrolls with lucrative, multiyear deals for players including Kopitar, struggling ex-captain Dustin Brown, oft-injured veteran forward Marian Gaborik and Quick, their workhorse goalie. Los Angeles’ farm system has also produced remarkably little top-end talent in recent years, another major reason for Lombardi’s downfall. While Sutter seemed reluctant to rely on youngsters in previous seasons, he gave plenty of chances to young players this season. The only significant impact was made by 22-point scorer Nic Dowd and dependable defenceman Derek Forbort. While Carter and Doughty had their usual outstanding seasons, Kopitar — who recently got an eight-year, $80 million contract from Lombardi — had the worst production of his 11-year NHL career with just 52 points. Injuries didn’t help, either: Quick missed 59 games with a groin injury, and Gaborik only showed glimpses of his usual self after getting hurt at the World Cup of Hockey.

Where to next?:

What do you think? Do you agree?

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