Kings, Sutter Come Up Short


How the mighty have fallen.

It’s interesting what a year can do to a team, but in the Los Angeles Kings case, you can say it’s a couple years. Age and fatigue have caught up to the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Kings have played 64 playoff games over the past three seasons, and have won the cup twice in that time span. But now, they are the second team in recent history to miss the playoffs after winning the Stanley Cup; The Carolina Hurricanes doing so in the 2006-2007 season.

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  • But it’s become pretty apparent the team is far more tired about their coach, Darryl Sutter. Kings General Manager, Dean Lombardi addressed the media yesterday about the locker room barricade that was setup by the players to prevent Sutter from entering the room, which was reported by Larry Brooks Saturday afternoon.  From what has been reported, Sutter had the door opened by an arena employee only to be blocked by a barricade of three heavy waste bins.

    via Larry Brooks:

    Slap Shots has been told by two sources that the Kings locked the door to their locker room following a defeat on the road within the last two weeks so that Sutter could not get in and deliver what the players apparently expected to be another in a series of lectures/tirades.

    As the tale was told, after Sutter finally tracked down an arena operative to unlock the door, he was greeted by three heavy waste receptacles lined up as a barricade to what had become an empty room.

    As Lombardi addressed to the media though, this incident happened back on February 7, after a victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Whether you want to believe that part, is up to you. However, Lombardi did say he had no issue with the situation. He described it merely as a “scuffle”. Sutter did not hesitate to state he will return next season.

    More so, you can expect the Kings to come back with a vengeance next season, but they will have to address a few off-season moves. Justin Williams and Jarret Stoll are both impending free agents, both who are 32 years old. And it’s unclear on what is going to happen with Slava Voynov’ situation with the domestic abuse case.  If found guilty, it can lead to jail time and also deportation, since Voynov is not a United States born citizen. Not to mention Robyn Regehr is calling it a career.

    It will also be interesting if the Kings buy out Mike Richards, who was sent down to the Manchester Monarchs through waivers back in January, only to be recently recalled at the end of the season. But that could cost them a pretty penny over the next 10 seasons since they are unable to use a compliance buyout. And giving Anze Kopitar a contract extension would not hurt them either. Either way, a few moves are to be made and the most intriguing will be if Darryl Sutter will actually be behind the bench come pre-season.

    Next: Update: Patrick Kane Ready For Game One

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