Summer Report: L.A. Kings
August, 16, 2006
After missing the playoffs for the third straight season, Kings ownership decided to clean house. Actually, that housecleaning began before the regular season ended -- the club jettisoned head coach Andy Murray with just 12 games left. He was replaced on an interim basis by John Torchetti, who tried in vain to revive an already lost cause. On the day after the club's final regular season game, the Kings axed GM Dave Taylor, Torchetti and the entire coaching staff as well as several other key members of the hockey operations staff. Taylor's dismissal was particularly significant. He was homegrown King who joined the club in 1977 and played 17 seasons for the Kings. Taylor's No. 18 hangs in the rafters at the Staples Center. He was fired nearly nine years to the day after he was hired. Clearly, by dismissing Taylor, the Kings were seeking a major change. Three days after firing Taylor, the club announced it had hired former Sharks GM Dean Lombardi as president-general manager. Lombardi was charged with getting the team on track.