KINGS NAME O'CONNELL TO OPERATIONS STAFF
O'Connell, 50, spent the past six seasons as Vice President and General Manager of the Boston Bruins, where he was instrumental in assembling a club that won two Northeast Division titles and compiled a 179-130-78 (39 ties) regular season record before he left the organization this past March.
"Mike brings us a strong presence on the East Coast where scouting and development are critical to our franchise," said Lombardi. "As a former General Manager, he brings a broad perspective that allows him to see the present as well as the future. Mike did an outstanding job with the Bruins as he guided his club to the best record in the Eastern Conference in 2003-04, while putting in place a solid nucleus of young talent. Additionally, he recently demonstrated under tough conditions at the trade deadline that he always puts the health of the franchise first by not trading his young players or top draft picks."
Joining the Kings with more than 20 years of NHL experience as both a player, Assistant Coach, Head Coach (he served as the Interim Head Coach of the Bruins for nine games in the 2002-03 season) and front office executive, O'Connell, before retiring as a player, enjoyed a standout 13-year NHL career as a defenseman with the Bruins, Detroit Red Wings and his hometown Chicago Blackhawks. He recorded three 50-plus point seasons (from 1982-85) when he played for Boston and he was an NHL All-Star in 1984. He still holds the Bruins record for the longest goal streak by a defenseman with seven games, and he re-joined the Bruins organization as an Assistant Coach in 1991 before the club advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals that season.
A native of Chicago, O'Connell, who also served as the Head Coach of Boston's AHL affiliate in Providence for two seasons from 1992-94, re-joined the parent club in 1994 as Assistant General Manager, a post he held for six seasons before being named to his most recent position on November 1, 2000. As General Manager, O'Connell was responsible for acquiring a number of talented and successful players, including Bill Guerin, Sergei Gonchar, Glen Murray (from Los Angeles), Jozef Stumpel (from Los Angeles), Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart via trade, and Patrice Bergeron and Hannu Toivonen via the NHL Draft.