LA Kings VP of hockey ops Mike Futa, considered to be in the mix for Toronto’s vacant GM gig, isn’t going anywhere — at least according to GM Dean Lombardi.
“Mike Futa is still a Los Angeles King and will remain a Los Angeles King,” Lombardi said, per LA Kings Insider. “You don’t think the guy could jump ship now, right?”
Lombardi’s comment came while Futa prepped and continued scouting for the NHL Entry Draft, which will go later this month. Scouting is how Futa established such a strong reputation across the league — in his eight seasons with the Kings, he headed up a department responsible for drafting the likes of Drew Doughty, Kyle Clifford, Alec Martinez, Slava Voynov, Dwight King, Jordan Nolan, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. (Jake Muzzin, an undrafted free agent, also came aboard under Futa’s watch.)
As mentioned above, Futa’s been tied primarily to the vacant GM gig in Toronto. But according to TSN, teams have tried in the past to lure him out of Los Angeles — Buffalo and Calgary during their GM searches — and the Kings responded with a promotion, new contract and stipulations about what jobs he could seek out.
Which probably explains why Lombardi was so adamant Futa wasn’t going anywhere.
“There’s a big challenge ahead of us,” he explained. “I don’t think [Futa’s] had time to think about it. He’s been going a hundred miles an hour.”
Nino Niederreiter and Mikko Koivu each scored twice leading the Minnesota Wild to a 4-1 win over the L.A. Kings.
Chris Stewart added two assists while Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves.
With the win, Minnesota moves into the third spot in the Central Division leapfrogging the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago has two games in hand on Minnesota.
The Wild lead the league with a 26-6-2 record since Jan. 15 and have an NHL-best 49 points (24-5-1) in 30 games since the All-Star Break.
The loss snaps the Kings’ three-game winning streak. The Kings failed to make up ground on the idle Calgary Flames. Calgary trails L.A. by just one point for the third seed in the Pacific Division.
Dwight King had the lone goal for L.A. while Jonathan Quick was pulled after allowing two goals on nine first period shots. Martin Jones made nine saves in relief.
Dubnyk, who made his 34th consecutive start, improved to 26-6-1 since joining the Wild. The 28-year-old has allowed two goals or fewer in 26 of 34 games.
The Los Angeles Kings have tweaked their lines ahead of tonight’s contest versus the Coyotes, with hopes of getting some goals from a few more of their forwards.
“We’ve got guys who haven’t scored in 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 or 14 or 15 games, whatever it is, and some of them have had zero scoring opportunities for the last five as individuals,” coach Darryl Sutter said, per LA Kings Insider.
Sutter didn’t name names, but winger Dustin Brown has gone without a goal in his last 11 games, while winger Dwight King has gone goalless in 13.
This morning, Brown was skating on the first line with Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar, while King was on the third line with Nick Shore and Justin Williams. The second line had Trevor Lewis, Jeff Carter, and Tyler Toffoli, with Kyle Clifford, Andy Andreoff, and Jordan Nolan comprising the fourth.
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