There haven’t been a great deal of happy-go-lucky stories that have accompanied the LA Kings this season. John Stevens was fired, popular players have been traded and additional change awaits on the horizon. This isn’t an easy time for the team competitively, but at the management level, Los Angeles has collected draft picks while building its prospect pool in a means to “recreate” the type of success it had forged with a previous generation of highly esteemed prospects. In a message driven by President Luc Robitaille, General Manager Rob Blake and Director of Player Personnel Nelson Emerson, patience is preached, the intended direction of the organization is articulated, and though Gabe Vilardi is absent from the highlights and analysis, there are still direct quotes from executives on other top prospects and how they’ll be incorporated into a group amidst an evolved philosophy towards speed, skill and talent.
“Those times were so much different because that team was at such a good level and coming off a win that you want to allow the players the best opportunity to win again, and that’s what the organization did, and rightly so, they should’ve. But you get to the point where is that team even capable of wining anymore? That’s a harsh reality. You have to look and say, ‘OK, what do we need? Do we need to add to this? Is it through free agency, is it through a trade, or is it through the draft?”