LOS ANGELES—After the dismissal of the LA Kings’ head coach Darryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi on Monday, a press conference was held at the Staples Center and led by Dan Beckerman, President and CEO of AEG, Luc Robitaille, the Kings President, and Rob Blake, Vice President and new General Manager, on Tuesday, April 11. Team captains Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, and Jeff Carter were also in attendance.
Beckerman, who has served 20 years with the Kings, commenced the conference by stating that the firing of Sutter and Lombardi was “one of the toughest days” he has had with the team. The decision was not taken lightly, he noted.
“We are all grateful for what Dean and Darryl did for this organization,” Beckerman asserted. “They built an incredible team; they built an incredible infrastructure; they led us to two Stanley Cup championships; they took the franchise to new heights and set the bar extremely high. For that, we are forever indebted to them for what they have done for this team.”
Loyalty, Beckerman shared, is part of the organization’s core, “which is why these two guys [Robitaille and Blake] are sitting next to me as leaders of this organization.” Both Robitaille and Blake were drafted as Kings in 1984, and in 1988 and earned spots in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Beckerman concluded by noting that the “difficult” decision to release Sutter and Lombardi was related to the team’s future, evolution, and moving forward.
“We expect success, and our fans expect success,” said Beckerman. “We believe that we will be, once again, playing hockey in May and June.”
Robitaille expressed his excitement to work with (and be a resource for) Blake and “help the Kings get back to what we all expect from this team.” He extended his thanks to Sutter and Lombardi, explaining that both men taught the team, along with officials, about “building a winning culture and constantly striving to be the best.”
Kopitar (center), Doughty (defenseman), Carter (center), along with goalie Jonathan Quick, “are all at their prime,” Robitaille added. “When you wear a Kings jersey, it represents something special; it represents winning; it represents excellence; and it represents this city and our fans.”
Canyon News spoke with Mike Altieri, Senior Vice President of Communications for the LA Kings, who was unable to provide any additional information in the changes of operations for the organization.