The Los Angeles Kings will soon announce contract extensions for general manager Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Lombardi’s deal is believed to be a four-year extension that will run through 2016-17. Length of term for Sutter wasn’t clear, though the Times’ Helene Elliott reports it will be a “long-term agreement.”
The extension culminates a stunning turnaround for Lombardi. It was only 13 months ago he fired head coach Terry Murray with the Kings sitting 12th in the Western Conference — looking nothing like a playoff team, let alone a Stanley Cup contender.
But facing the most intense pressure and scrutiny of his tenure in Los Angeles, Lombardi went bold.
He rolled the dice by acquiring Jeff Carter at the trade deadline — described as a “career Hail Mary” — but it paid off beautifully, giving LA forward depth that played a key role en route to the Cup win.
Lombardi’s other masterstroke was bringing aboard Sutter, who transformed the Kings into an aggressive, hard-checking group.
He strayed from Murray’s defensive-first scheme, allowing players more freedom offensively, and the shift paid off brilliantly as the Kings ran roughshod through the playoffs, losing just four games over the course of four rounds.
“I’m excited about the prospect of continuing my partnership with Darryl as we strive to keep the team among the elite in the NHL,” Lombardi told the Times.