Tuesday, June 10, 2008

As the Crow flies

"So taking that all in, you're making a gut call, I guess, on the fit for what we project our team to be like."— LA King GM Dean Lombardi reacting to his gut and firing head coach Marc Crawford.

The Sun has set in California and for Marc Crawford, his time in that California sun has come to an end.

The Los Angeles Kings announced on Tuesday that they would commence the search for a new bench boss, after two unsuccessful seasons on the ice under the stewardship of Crawford. His departure marks the 21st time that the franchise that entered the NHL in 1967 has found their head coach to be less than they had hoped.

Suggesting that Crawford and the Kings had become a bit of an uncomfortable fit, Lombardi explained that he and the Kings had felt that their hockey team at least should have made the playoffs and with that small goal seemingly unreachable over the last two years, changes needed to be made.

Crawford last won a Stanley Cup in 1996 when he was behind the bench when the Quebec/Colorado machine was finally coming into its own; from there he spent a number of seasons with the Vancouver Canucks bringing them close, but in the end still far from a Stanley Cup parade.

The Kings will have to pay Crawford for the final year of his three year contract should he not find a new bench to stand behind before September.

While GM Lombardi gets ready to accept phone calls and resumes; Kings fans might be getting a little nervous about his overall impression of the job search "We're going to be methodical, we're not going to rush into anything. This is a critical hire. We'll get through the development camp in July and hopefully make the right gut call in the end."

He had better hope so; otherwise the next departure from the Kings might very well be that of Lombardi.

Globe and Mail-- Kings fire Marc Crawford
Los Angeles Daily News-- Kings fire coach Crawford
Passadena Star News-- Kings, Crawford go separate ways

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