The Los Angeles Kings fired general manager Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter on Monday night.
Rob Blake has been promoted to vice president and GM while Luc Robitaille was named the team’s president.
Lombardi served as the Kings’ president and general manager since 2006 while Sutter was brought to the team in 2011. The duo won two Stanley Cups together in 2012 and 2014.
Los Angeles finished the year 39-35-8 and eight points shy of a playoff spot. It was their worst record since 2009 and second missed playoff appearance in three years. An early-season injury to star goaltender Jonathan Quick didn’t help its cause.
“This was an extremely difficult decision and was made with an enormous amount of consideration for what we have accomplished in our past. But the present and future of our organization is the highest priority,” said Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of AEG, the parent company of the Kings. “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 finished 225-147-53 over 425 games in the regular season with L.A. — the most wins all-time among Kings head coaches.
Sutter immediately injected discipline and passion into an underachieving group, and the Kings shocked the hockey world by rampaging through the post-season as the eighth seed in the West, going 16-4 and winning the first Stanley Cup in their 45-year history.
The Kings made it all the way back to the Western Conference finals in 2013, losing a tough series to eventual champion Chicago. They won it all again in 2014, rallying back from a 3-0 series deficit against San Jose in the first round before storming to a second title.
But then the mediocre times started: In 2015, Los Angeles became the fourth team in NHL history to miss the playoffs after winning the Stanley Cup. After a bounce-back season last year in which they lost the Pacific Division title in their 82nd game, the Kings were easily knocked out of the first round by the Sharks last spring.
The Kings never came together this season despite a wealth of top-end talent including Norris Trophy-winning defenceman Drew Doughty, All-Star forward Jeff Carter and captain Anze Kopitar.
The Kings plan to introduce Robitaille and Blake into their new roles during a press conference on Tuesday.
Robitaille is Los Angeles’ all-time leader in goals and former captain. He served as the team’s president of business operations for the past 10 years.
Blake becomes the ninth GM in Kings history and was the team’s assistant GM since 2013. The 47-year-old Blake played 20 seasons in the NHL, including 14 with the Kings, and won a Stanley Cup in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche.
“This restructuring of the front office will establish a single leader of the organization that will provide a unified vision, focus and alignment between the team side and the business side,” said Beckerman. “It mirrors the same structure we recently implemented with the LA Galaxy and it will not only enable the integration of these two sides of the club into a single organization but will bring symmetry between the Kings and Galaxy.”
— With files from The Associated Press