Kings fire coaching staff, GM

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) – President and general manager Dave Taylor was among those dismissed by the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday during a major housecleaning.

The moves came after the Kings stumbled down the stretch of the season and failed to make the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

The entire coaching staff, including interim head coach John Torchetti, will not have their contracts renewed. But Torchetti, who took over when Andy Murray was fired last month, was told he can interview for the job when the new president and GM is named.

Kevin Gilmore, assistant GM, and Bill O’Flaherty, director of player personnel, also were relieved of their duties.

Even Tim Leiweke said he is stepping aside as CEO to allow the incoming president/GM to have full control of the hockey operations, although Leiweke will remain the team’s governor.

“Three seasons in row, we didn’t make the playoffs; one playoff (series) win in 10 years; going through a coaching change and having dissension in the locker room, was very difficult for us to deal with,” Leiweke said during a news conference.

at the team’s training facility.

“I think it’s safe to say ownership is angry,” Leiweke added. “I guess that’s the best way to put it. And we want to win.”

Luc Robitaille, who just played his final game Monday for the Kings before retiring, said, “You can’t fire every player, so first it was the coach, then Dave.”

Leiweke has asked Taylor, who has spent 29 years with the Kings as a player or executive, to remain with the organization in another capacity.

Taylor, 50, has been the president and GM for the past nine years.

Leiweke also has asked O’Flaherty to remain with the organization. Gilmore will be reassigned within Anschutz Entertainment Group, which counts the Kings among the sports teams it owns.

Taylor, saying he had no regrets and that he understood the decision to replace him, wants to remain with the Kings if a “fit” within the organization can be found. He has one year left on his contract.

Taylor said the fact the Kings haven’t made the postseason was the obvious reason he lost his job.

“You have to get in the playoffs and you have to do some damage in the playoffs. That’s what our job is,” he said.

The Kings, who led the Pacific Division on Jan. 8, were 37-28-5 and tied for seventh in the Western Conference when Murray was fired March 21. They went 5-7 under Torchetti to wind up 10th in the conference, two spots out of the playoffs.

Taylor, a five-time NHL All-Star, was a member of the Kings’ 1993 Stanley Cup Finals team, when they were beaten by Montreal in their only trip to the championship round.

He earned mixed reviews for his job as GM. He traded key players or allowed them to leave as free agents, several high draft picks failed to pan out and the team never had consistently solid goaltending.

This season, center Sean Avery didn’t play after club officials told him he had caused one distraction too many with his verbal outbursts. All-Star center Jeremy Roenick, acquired during the offseason, was frequently injured and failed to make an impact. Right wing Valerie Bure missed the entire season because of back and hip surgeries.

Kings captain Mattias Norstrom said, “It’s a tough day. We’re all part of the team, the players, the coaches and the GM. Now guys are getting fired.

“It’s a reality of the game.”

AP-ES-04-18-06 2017EDT

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