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.”