(Written by Donna Sarasin and David Ward)
The Kings have had plenty of time to ponder their strategy for the new season. Realizing at the end of the prior season, after missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, changes needed to be made to turn the tide. No time was wasted as within two weeks after the regular season ended, Kings General Manager Sam McMaster, was fired and replaced by Assistant General Manager Dave Taylor on 22 April 1997. Taylor promised Kings fans that he would be the one to bring success to the Kings franchise by developing prospects, pursuing quality free agents plus utilizing the entry draft picks to create a franchise of the future.
The Los Angeles Kings opened camp, at least first stepped foot on the ice, on this past Wednesday, September 10th. About 75 Kings fans were in attendance. Included in that figure was another Hockey 2000 writer, Donna Sarasin. Donna and I had the opportunity to talk to many people from the Kings front office. It amazed me at how open and accessible they were. I want to focus this article in two areas, one my evaluation of what I observed, and, two, a twenty-minute conversation Donna and I had with Al Murray, Director of Scouting.