Kings assistant general manager Michael Futa, whose work in scouting and development played a key role in building the rosters of their 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup championship teams, will leave the organization following the imminent expiration of his contract.
Futa was promoted to assistant general manager in April 2017, one of the first moves made by Rob Blake after Blake succeeded Dean Lombardi as general manager. Before that, Futa had been the Kings’ vice president of hockey operations and director of player personnel, titles and responsibilities he was given by Lombardi in May 2014 as a way to keep Futa when rival teams expressed interest in hiring him away. Before that, Futa was co-director of amateur scouting. He had worked for the Kings for 13 seasons.
“The LA Kings will not be renewing the expiring contract of Mike Futa. We appreciate his contributions to our organization and are thankful for his effort and dedication,” the club said in a statement. The Kings gave no indication whether they will hire a new assistant GM, promote from within, or leave the position open. Mark Yannetti, director of amateur scouting, is expected to oversee their draft operations.
The NHL paused its season March 12 because of the coronavirus outbreak and put players and staffers under an indefinite stay-at-home advisory. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has expressed optimism that the season can be finished and the Stanley Cup can be awarded, but the league is still considering its many options and has not settled on a plan for even a gradual return.
A decision on the timing and possible changes to the draft, which traditionally is held in June, could be made this week.