Kings Hire Darryl Sutter As Head Coach

Kings to ink Sutter, Lombardi to long-term extensions


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.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen

Coyotes place towering enforcer John Scott on waivers

John Scott, Brandon Davidson
The Canadian Press via AP

The Arizona Coyotes might not be using John Scott‘s services after all.

The team waived him this afternoon, per Craig Morgan. It’s possible that the Coyotes are simply giving themselves options as Scott clearing would allow them to send him down quickly at any point until he plays in 10 games or 30 days pass. At the same time, any team looking for a gritty fourth-line forward or third-pairing defenseman might be tempted to claim him in light of his affordable $575K cap hit for the 2015-16 campaign.

Scott is an imposing presence on the ice at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, but he doesn’t bring much to the table other than his physical play and willingness to drop the gloves. In terms of offensive abilities, he’s among the least capable in the league. In fact, the four points he recorded last season with the San Jose Sharks represented a career-high for the 33-year-old.

Meanwhile, Dan Cleary went unclaimed on waivers, according to Bob McKenzie, setting the stage for him to be reassigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.