Why John Stevens and Joel Quenneville firings do not make sense.
A troubling scare of the front office not taking the responsibilities of their failures.
Before the salary cap era, stuff like this didn’t matter. You could bring in whoever you want, at whatever price and not worry at all about the ramifications. This was about 12–13 years ago… Nowadays, GMs have to be extremely strategic in the way they work the salary cap. Teams like the Red Wings, Blackhawks and Kings all had their fun 6–7 years ago winning cups and being the most dominant forces in the NHL. But now not so much and many of these teams are top heavy in a lot of ways. BUT its the team’s failure to pivot from this old age GMing that is truly sinking the franchise.
The Kings are a nightmare. Realistically speaking this is not Rob Blake’s fault either. But what you do have is one of the oldest teams in the league. What makes it worse is you have 7 guys all making 5 million dollars or more. Now you may think, “eh, not a big deal.”, but when you look at the age of those players, the average is 33 and many of them do not end in 19/20 either. These are long term contracts that will kill franchise (see the Red Wings, Mets etc.).
Now lets add to that. The front office in itself, has (for some fucking reason) this idea that they can still win a cup. Every analyst will say to you no chance. This team is too slow and too top heavy to even make the playoffs (I think I have said this too many times).
Now moving onto the coach. Stevens is a well disciplined coach, he is fundamental and methodical in the way he teaches his style of hockey (which is more akin to the LA Kings) which is very gun and grind type of hockey. Grind in your defensive zone and be creative in the offensive zone. Its a hybrid between the old school NHL and new school NHL. The problem is the age of this team the grinding wears you down quicker. A plenty of their losses come from losing the 1st period, where their opponent is specifically fresh. If you rolled back the age of 86% of the players on the Kings roster by 4 years this style of play would have no trouble beating teams.
All in all, Kings are the next Red Wings. They have no prospects and until they can remove many of those contracts off the books, they cannot do anything.
Hawks are in a better position. They have prospects and good ones too. Joe was able to adjust to the new style of hockey so quickly it helped to extend the dominance of the Hawks for a few years. Their offensive core is young, and the contracts they are on (Kane and Toews) are well deserved.