Michael Futa, the Kings’ vice president of hockey operations and their director of player personnel, offered some background on Mike Richards during an interview before the team terminated the forward’s contract Monday. Here’s some of what Futa said of Richards on a Toronto radio station earlier in the day:
“That’s a tough one. Obviously, what makes (Kings general manager) Dean Lombardi special is relationships with the players and his loyalty. Obviously, coming off the Cup year (in 2014) and having a very small window there, as Dean said it was probably the most difficult incorrect decision he’s made and it’s cost us.”
Futa referred to deciding against buying out Richards last summer.
Futa then continued, “(Lombardi) flew into Kenora (Richards’ offseason home in Ontario) and looked Mike in the eye and felt he was comfortable that we were going to have him buy in a little bit better and things just didn’t work out (last season). Everything you said about Mike Richards in his career, sure, he’s been well-decorated for his incredible past. You know what? He’s the one who’s got to look into the mirror with regard to his decision.
“We clearly … (he was a) huge part of our Stanley Cup championships and we wish him well.”
Finally…the end. Here’s the last part of the interview with Mark Yannetti and Michael Futa. It focuses mainly on where the organization stands now and where it’s heading and (hopefully) will give you some idea of their vision for the future. I hope everyone found the interview worthwhile! Here’s the last part…
OK, I thought this would be the final installment, but there’s still another one to come. In this part, Michael Futa and Mark Yannetti discuss what it’s like to work for Dean Lombardi and discuss how it can be both challenging and rewarding. It’s a bit of an insight as to what it’s like to work for the Kings these days…
Here’s the second-to-last installment of the interview with Michael Futa and Mark Yannetti. Unfortunately, the final installment will have to wait, since I left my recorder at home this morning. Oops. This part is some real meat-and-potatoes stuff about the job these guys do leading up to the draft…
In this third installment of the interview, Futa and Yannetti talk about preparing for all the different scenarios they might face on draft day, plus they discuss how there is a consensus, among the staff, about which player to select with the No. 2 pick…
Here’s the second part of the interview with Mark Yannetti and Michael Futa, in which they start to go into some detail about what their lives are like these days, and how hectic the weeks leading up to the draft can be…
Here’s the first part of the long interview I did on Saturday with Michael Futa and Mark Yannetti, the Kings’ co-directors of amateur scouting. The interview took place after I sat in on their session, so you’ll read a couple references to that morning’s meeting.
For a little background, Futa and Yannetti were named to their roles on June 5, 2007, so this is really their first year overseeing the Kings’ draft efforts.
Previously, Yannetti worked as a scout for the Kings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Futa spent the previous five seasons as the general manager of the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League.
What follows is the start of a lengthy, wide-ranging interview. As you’ll see, it starts with a simple question but a long, involved answer in which the guys discuss their work and their philosophy. After this, the questions and answers will get more specific. Here’s the first part…