It's the end of an era for the Los Angeles Kings.
AEG, the world's leading sports and liver entertainment company, and owner of the Kings, announced on Monday that Dean Lombardi, the team's President and General Manager since 2006, and Darryl Sutter, head coach since 2011, have both been fired.
The announcement was made by AEG President and CEO, Dan Beckerman who also announced that Luc Robitaille had been promoted to Lombardi's old role of club President, and Rob Blake to the role of General Manager.
“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 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. 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.”
Both Lombardi and Sutter were the architects behind the Kings' two Stanley Cup runs in three seasons between 2012 and 2014. During that time, Sutter sported a record of 225-147-53, the most wins by a Kings' head coach in franchise history. His 42 playoff wins are also a franchise record.
However, the Kings have struggled in the past three seasons, missing the playoffs in 2015 and 2017, respectively, with a first round playoff exit in 2015 at the hands of the rival San Jose Sharks.
Similar to what AEG did with the front office and head coaching jobs at their MLS franchise, the LA Galaxy, Beckerman opted to promote from within, handing the executive reigns over to longtime Kings' players and legends with the franchise in their own right.
Robitaille, is a member of the NHL Hall of Fame, and has served in the role of Kings President of Business Operations for the last 10 years. He played most of his career with the Kings, becoming the highest scoring left wing in NHL history while donning the black and white. His jersey was retired by the team in 2007.
Blake, was a longtime Kings' defenseman and also a member of the NHL Hall of fame. He will become the ninth General Manager in team history, and has been serving as the team's assistant GM for the past four seasons.
The Kings announced that there will be a press conference at Staples Center on Tuesday, April 11th at 1:00PM to announce the new front office changes.