Dean Lombardi

Rob Blake faces formidable task of reviving the Kings

Rob Blake faces formidable task of reviving the Kings

It was at the NHL draft last month that Mark Yannetti, the Kings’ director of amateur scouting, noticed a distinct contrast between the demeanor of his former boss, Dean Lombardi, and that of Rob Blake, who succeeded Lombardi as the club’s general manager.

After not reaching the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, the Kings had gotten the 11th pick, too late to grab a franchise player but early enough to find a building block. They had to get it right because they urgently needed to infuse skill into a team that had become stale and struggled to score.

As other clubs made their picks and noise swirled around the Kings’ table at the United Center in Chicago, Yannetti...

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