Meeting quotes, part 5

Resuming the quotes from the meeting last week… Maybe the most interesting thing, at the beginning, is Robitaille’s quote about the Kings drafting a defenseman. That’s certainly no shock to anyone, but it’s the first time anyone in the organization has outright said that a defenseman is on the way. Beyond that, there’s some talk about how to market this team, as it develops, and about the proper way to bring along the top prospects.

Someone asked, in a comment, about a follow-up question regarding the Kings losing money. That’s coming, in the next and final installment of these quotes. For now, here’s some stuff on the young talent…


Question: How do you market this team, while it’s in transition? Some young guys are being blended in, others are still on the horizon…

(Robitaille:) “For me, it’s very simple. We’ve got everyone in the entire NHL loving a kid like Kopitar and Jack Johnson and Dustin Brown. Those are our guys. This is our future. We’re so fortunate to have those young guys, even Jonathan Bernier and Quick and Zatkoff. Now we’ve got this kid Hickey and we’ve got the second pick. We’re going to get one of the best 18-year-old defensemen in the world. That’s how we market the team. We’re young and we’re upcoming. There are a lot of teams that are getting old and going down. We’re going up.”

(McGowan:) “It’s a couple other things as well. Creating a good experience at Kings games, we always have to keep that in mind as well. We want people to have a great time, so you market that. Also, we have to tie into the optimism we’re hearing in our focus groups and from talking to fans, that we’re on the verge of something great. It’s about to happen, and I think you tie into that. It’s what our fans are thinking, so it’s authentic. So it’s Staples Center and it’s what’s going to happen.

(Altieri:) “It’s all about what happens ahead. We don’t know. We really don’t know, but we’re hopeful and from what we’ve seen thus far, we’re very excited about it.”

Question: I wonder about the balance here. Dean talks about the long-term build, and getting it right for good, but there must be some need, on the marketing side, for results now, so that you’re not just always saying, “Well, we’re going to be good.” Where is that balance?

(Robitaille:) “Our fans, they communicate to us that they understand where we’re going. I was really shocked to see that our fans understood the vision of where we’re going. That was a great surprise to us. We need to communicate with them more, but at the end of the day, when they see those young guys going out and battling, even if they make mistakes, they love it. Because now they see something. They’re seeing an organization that’s not just patching up holes and saying, `Oh my God, let’s just do something today,’ because we’re reacting. I think that’s the most important thing. We need to stick to the plan.”

Question: I’m curious for you, Luc, specifically, having been here for so long and having been through so many regimes… What do you tell people to convince them that this is different? I mean, fans have been through this before, for the last 40 years…

(Robitaille:) “Why is this different? The first thing Dean did was build the infrastructure. When you build the infrastructure, it’s like a foundation. He did that first. Not speaking on anyone, but I think in the past, there wasn’t the same communication between business and hockey. Something would happen and fans would become really loud, and then there would be a reaction. Now, we’re all sitting in the same room and we’re finding our vision together. We have all these young guys coming up. We have all these prospects coming up. There’s a lot of value there, and we’re not reacting anymore. We never want to lose, but it’s not going to be like, `Oh my God, we lost two or three games so we need to trade these guys.’ Kopitar is getting better. Johnson is getting better. Simmonds is coming in. Boyle had a good year. Purcell had a good year. All these young kids. From a business point of view, we’re sticking with that plan.

“What’s great about it is, our diehard fans — I’m not going to say every one of them — but our diehard fans have told us that they like that plan. They like to see all those young guys. They even loved it when — and I don’t know if it was even the right thing to do, to be honest with you — but they loved the fact that Boyle came and played great and the next thing you know, they saw Purcell the next week. Then they saw Moulson. They loved the fact that they saw all those guys. It’s the first time, really, that we’re going this route and we’re going to stick with it.”

(Lombardi:) “I always have the thing about homegrown players. I think when a kid breaks in with you, he has the logo tatooed on his ass. Even (Patrick O’Sullivan) would fall into that category. Luc was a Kings draft pick. How many times, in the Kings’ history, have they developed guys at critical positions, like Johnson and Kopitar? Just start there. Let alone the emergence of Brown. You never say for sure, but the kid we’re going to get this year, there’s a good chance he’s going to be an impact player. And if one of our goalies hits… When’s the last time the Kings had, in their system, two or three kids like Quick, Bernier and Zatkoff? Maybe it was Storr or somebody else. But when you look at the history, I don’t know if the Kings have ever had a No. 1 center who came from within. Bernie Nicholls was probably the only one, right?”

(Robitaille:) “It could have been Jimmy Carson but he was only here two years.”

(Lombardi:) “And the last great defenseman was Blake, and that was 15 years ago.”

(Altieri:) “And never at the same time. And I think our fans embrace the idea of watching these homegrown players develop as Kings. They become their players. That’s how we market to them.”

(Lombardi:) “As a player, I tell you that’s the truth. When you start somewhere, that’s your team. It doesn’t matter where you go after that, that’s always your team. We want that. We want our guys to feel that. We want them to know that when they turn it around here, they’re going to have something special. You cannot buy that.”

Question: Knowing that, how much separation does there have to be? For instance, everyone is excited about Wayne Simmonds and Bernier. A large segment of your fans would love to see them here in October. If Dean doesn’t think they’re ready, or Crawford doesn’t think they’re ready, is there any push and pull there?

(Altieri:) “There can’t be. What we do shouldn’t dictate what (Lombardi) does. He should make every decision that he thinks needs to be made. We’ve got to be able to be in sync with him. It’s like, our raising ticket prices shouldn’t equate to whether we won or lost. It should be because it’s the right thing for our business. We’re going to market the team that he’s building. It’s like when a player like Boyle comes up. Our fans see him and they’re excited, but we have to wait a little bit. Let’s make sure Dean is comfortable with when he establishes himself. What we found is that for him, it was seven games and he was back to Manchester. We were like, `OK, that’s part of the plan, part of the process.’ We won’t go overboard in terms of pushing him out there.”

(Lombardi:) “There’s a temptation. You’ve come this far and you’ve got to stick with it. That’s a classic example. Boyle could have played here, but it was the best thing for him to be there. You have to suck it up because you’re going to get a bigger payoff 24 months from now. I firmly believe that. That’s the other thing, in terms of, `Why is this different?’ Last year’s (Manchester) team won and went to the (Calder Cup) finals, but there were only two or three guys to look at. When you’re a personnel guy, you go down there now and there’s guys, every shift — to varying degrees, because they’re not all going to pan out — but that’s a young team. I was with them for a two-and-a-half weeks down there. They lost three games in a row to the best team in the league (in the first round of the playoffs). But I never had a group like that in San Jose. We slowly were able to do it, six years in a row, and put that nucleus together.

“We’re trying to bridge that gap, between playing young players and winning. You have the (AHL) Chicago Wolves, who just go out and get a bunch of old guys and win every year. But that (Manchester) team, what I liked about it — with Boyle and Purcell and those guys — is they learn how to win. They battled in those last three weeks (of the regular season). They were under the gun and they were playing four (games) in five nights. That’s part of their training. `Hey, Brian, some day you’re going to have to do this up top (in the NHL). That’s why you’re down here.’ That gets me excited, when I see that.”

(Robitaille:) “That’s the model in places like San Jose and Pittsburgh and Ottawa. These teams have been good for a long time. Even Detroit. They were awful in the 80s but they got their homegrown guys and now they’ve been good for a long time. That’s what we want.”

(Lombardi:) “That’s why, when you ask the question, `Why is this different?’ There are some tangible things. And again, they’re things that only certain people can see right now, but as it grows and those kids come in, you get more people. More people start to say, `OK, now I can see what these idiots are doing.’ That’s the reaction.

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  • anthony

    This drafting scheme and watch us win in 2017 is getting old. And my patience is running thin.

    Trading for players and Free Agency works as well.
    If you have a smart G.M. running the show of course.

    Just take a look at the Philadelphia Flyers. Look what trades and free agency did for them.

    -Joffrey Lupul
    -Steve Smith
    -Kimmo Tomonen
    -Scott Hartnell
    -Scottie Upshall
    -Matheiu Biron
    -Braydon Coburn
    -Vaslav Prospal

    Free agents
    -Jim Dowd
    -Mike Knuble
    -Baniel Briere

    This G.M. turned a last place team into a Stanley Cup Contebder in less than a year. Now Philly is a final four team.
    More than just a quick fix. Would you not agree.

    That’s the kind of GM L.A. needs.

  • bob Bobson

    Anthony you are neglecting that the PHI GM got a lot of those guys through the Forsberg trade. DL doesn’t have a player of that caliber that we know is in steady decline to trade as an asset.

    The Briere signing looks great in hindsight but the Rangers tried your method for years during the 90’s and early 00’s and how successful have they been ?

  • LADave

    Well that sounds like a great meeting. A cluster-eff if I ever hear one. Hey Dean, what you said is great. No, no Luc you are right. No Mike Altieri said it best we are on the verge of greatness here in last place pimping Dave Taylors picks of Kopitar and Brown. Woot.

  • Harry

    be patient…

  • metalmaster

    You forgot about Umbergerer
    from Vancouver in another
    braindead move by the much overrated Brian Burke.Also
    they drafted Mike Richards
    in 2005.He is a complete
    player on both sides of the ice and was a steal.

  • Goon Squad

    Look, it’s very simple. If you’re too frustrated with this plan, don’t watch. Luc has said about 3 times in this interview that he’s “shocked” that the diehard fans are behind this. So if you’re a diehard fan and you’re behind this, like I am, then enjoy the process. And if you’re a diehard fan and you’re not behind this, like Anthony, then check back in 2-3 years, because that’s clearly what they are prepared for you to do. They don’t care if there is backlash about ticket prices or about on ice performance right now. They are running this show for the long term, they’ve already prepared themselves to be hated right now, and it’s a bonus to them that many of us don’t hate them.

    Many thanks for the great info and access, as always Rich.

  • Vahe

    I agree 100% with you Anthony…When I see Philly play in the final, it makes me sick. We actually finished ahead of them in the standings last season, and one year later the Flyers are a final 4 team and we were tied for last this year. I am sick and tired of AEG and their BS

  • andre norway

    Anthony, I thought your patience was out regarding the kings if not I hope its out when DL resign Blake to a 2 year deal.
    And it was just barely that the flyers made the playoffs.
    And you dont know what players DL was after during the summer other than Briere who choose to stay on the east coast. Of course I would have been happy if we got Biron as our goalie but Im not giving up Kopi or Brownie for him. The future is bright for us kings fans.

  • Anonymous

    Can someone please define “infrastructure” as Luc and Lombardi use it?

    What exactly did Lombardi add – not change, but add? The Kings already had Manchester, Reading, the training facility in El Segundo, a ton of scouts,
    front office people, etc.

    The biggest change seems to be that they now have 16 Vice Presidents or VP level positions listed under Business Operations where before they had four.

  • dominic lavoie


    Turnarounds like that happen because of a combination of smarts, luck and timing, plus factors such as the prestige of the organization. Lets look at some of those acquisitions:

    “Mathieu” Biron: Not a Flyer. But his older brother Martin was a good pickup for a high 2nd Round pick. Buffalo had a logjam in goal and were going to lose Biron to UFA so they unloaded him for less than he was worth.

    Lupul: Acquired in a trade that cost them Joni Pitkanen. Has numbers comparable to O’Sullivan.

    “Steve” Smith: Did you mean Jason Smith?

    Kimmo Timonen: The only reason that deal gets done is because of the prestige of the organization and its willingness to pay an obscene amount of money for a player. Cost them a First Round pick, a boatload of money for six years and he had Lubo type numbers this year.

    Hartnell & Upshall: Good (but expensive) role players -good for 30-40pts a season.

    Coburn: Was acquired in method similar to JMFJ. Don Waddell absolutely blew it by trading him for Alex Zhitnik. Coburn wasn’t performing well under Bob Hartley and Atlanta was in WIN NOW mode (like some on this board).

    Prospal: Good deadline deal although it cost them a good young defenseman in Picard. But the Coburn trade makes that deal possible.

    My point is: Be patient. The organization is going in a good direction. My guess is the team will improve next season but miss the playoffs. A couple of UFA’s and the following year the team should start a long stretch of playoff appearances…

  • Eric K

    Anthony: Not that Philly didn’t do a good job… they definitely did. Two problems with your argument, though…

    1. I’d say at least 80% of players would rather play in Philly than LA, regardless of the standings. For example, Timonen and Hartnell agreed to get traded from Nashville to Philly instead of trying the open market. No offense to us, but could you possibly see that happening in which two players accept a trade to LA? It’s not that simple.

    2. Signing Daniel Briere to an 8-year contract for $52 million? That puts a lot of stress on our cap situation, and we would have had to top that offer by a considerable amount to get Briere here. Plus, our real problem is defense anyway… even with some busts at forward, our offense was pretty solid.

  • anthony

    Good point Eric K,

    But you don’t think paying Blake & Handzus $10 Million doesn’t put any stress on our cap.
    On the average, that’s more than what Briere makes. Since he averages $6.5 Mil a season.

    I do respect and appreciate your input though.

  • Gord

    The patience is running thin, the patience is running thin! Duck and cover, everybody, he’s about to get angry and say exactly the same things!

  • Anonymous

    Below is where in the standings Phi placed. Make of it what you will. I wouldn’t say Phi’s GM turned water into wine in 1 year. He’s done what’s necessary for his team, but had more working for him. Phi’s history in the past few years is more accomplished than the Kings. And does anyone remember that DL was a pro scout for Phi before being hired by the Kings.

    3rd in conf
    W40 L21 T15 OTL6 Pts101
    lost in conf finals to TB

    W45 L26 OT11 Pts101
    lost in 1st rd to Buf. Buf lost to Car in conf finals

    W22 L48 OT12 Pts56
    no playoffs

    W42 L29 OT11 Pts 95
    playoffs finish ???

  • Anonymous

    Anthony, Philly had a bad year 2 seasons ago. That’s it. It wasn’t like they had missed the playoff for the last 5 or 6 seasons and finished at the bottom. They had NOT missed the playoffs in more than 10 YEARS. They had the assets to make the deals they made to get them back on track.They got the assets by drafting and acquiring picks. Sound familiar?

  • Anonymous

    I always wondered why they weren’t more creative with the videos they play on the Jumbotron to get the fans more riled up. It’s HOLLYWOOD for God’s sake! Get some clips from good movies like they do at Maloney’s in Westwood and get the crowd going already! Imagine the difference…

  • Anonymous

    Anthony, Philly had a bad year 2 seasons ago. That’s it. It wasn’t like they had missed the playoffs for the last 5 or 6 seasons and finished at the bottom. They had NOT missed the playoffs in more than 10 YEARS. They had the assets to make the deals they made to get them back on track.They got the assets by drafting and acquiring picks. Sound familiar?

  • It is fine that they have so much depth in the organization and that it seems like we have something to look forward to. However, I don’t believe that you have to consistantly finish at the bottom to rebuild and that being said, the free agents and goaltending situation have been a nightmare. It is nice that they are “going up” but they could be doing that from the middle instead of the bottom.

  • DellaNooch

    Philly had an off year with a good core of players, they did well to get some talent quickly in the off season and move up the ranks this season, but by no means was this an “amazing” turnaround with brilliant moves by the GM. He took some risks that resulted in barely making the playoffs, getting past WSH in the first round by one goal, and beating a MTL team that really didn’t play great hockey in the playoffs this year. Beating PIT will make a strong case for them though, but that would be a big surprise.

  • joe


    two more points everyone else forgot to mention

    The east isn’t as good as the west. Sure you could say it was twice as close but philly isn’t that good. And sure Briere’s playing awesome this season, but will he play that great for the next 8 or 9 ? and at the same pay rate.

    Also the kings were apart of the pacific division during a year that saw teams play each team in their division 8 times. So that means almost half of the kings season they were playing anaheim, dallas, san jose, and phoenix. and what position did anaheim, san jose, and dalls finish in the entire western confrence ? #’s 2,5,6. I’m sorry but the kings would have faired much better if they were in philly’s division.

    And also, Biron is one hot goalie right now. Does he hold up 4 straight games against malkin/crosby ? I’d bet not.

    And for your sake I hope philly doesn’t make it just because you might bitch yourself to death the one day before detroit and philly play and detroit mashes philly 10-0 for two straight games with home ice.

    Point is at the rate detroit’s playing only a team full of carter’s and Umburger’s would stand a chance against detroit. And even then I doubt biron can keep enough pucks out of the net.

    And yes, I hate the red wings as much as the next die hard kings fan. That should be all.

  • kingkongkorab

    Good for the long haul, let’s see what Philly is like in a few yrs when those players are past their prime. We want to be good for more then a couple of years that’s what I get out of this plan by DL.



  • Anonymous

    I am sure DL had a plan as
    most GMs do. How did the DL
    plan work in San Jose? It
    got him fired with the team
    in disarray and Doug Wilson
    got to clean up the mess.
    It is hard to imagine that
    Kings are being built for the long haul when they
    cannot be in contention for
    a playoff spot. Why is DL
    signing likes of Handzus and Preissing to 4 year
    contracts? Are these guys
    core players who will be helping Kings win cup in
    the next 3 years.The job of
    a GM is to correct his teams weaknesses and does
    he do this? No physical D
    prescence on blueline and he drafts more small puck
    moving defense. How about
    making a move for a legit
    center at some point. He
    also said he wants to build through draft and youth yet he tried to trade Frolov and Brown to FLA for Luongo. Luongo did
    not want to sign extension
    so he wound up in VAN.Look
    at his drafts in SJ and see
    how bad some of them were
    before you believe his bs
    that he built Sharks into
    the power that they are.
    Actually DW is going to be weeding out the remaining
    remnants of DL era so that
    they may one day get out of
    2nd round.

  • 24diving

    (Robitaille:) “Our fans, they communicate to us that they understand where we’re going. I was really shocked to see that our fans understood the vision of where we’re going. That was a great surprise to us.”

    So these talking heads think that we are a bunch of dummies who can’t grasp the concept of developing players. This concept is nothing new, Lombardi didn’t suddenly come up wirh this genius idea. The players furthest along in development were playing in Long Beach when the IHL was in existence. For example, like him or not, Modry, as well as Boucher, were part of that team and were called up as necessary before they joined the team full time. After that. until the purchase of a franchise solely for the Kings prospects, the top prospects were developing at Lowell. Manchester was that franchise and it has been the place where the Kings top prospects have been for about eight years now, I didn’t check on the inaugural date. Granted, the prospects for the most part haven’t become the players they had been envisioned to become, but that was the point of having Manchester. So why are they so surprised that the fans understand the big picture? I resent being looked upon like an idiot by these people.

    Lombardi came to LA with the idea in his head that the fans here didn’t know much and pubically stated how surprised he was at the level of hockey knowledge and loyalty of the fanbase. It’s very sad that Robitaille thinks we are dumb as well. He should know better from his years of interaction with the fans. It is an example of a reason that maybe he shouldn’t have just been given a high level position for which he has no qualifications.

    I guess since the fans are looked on as being stupid, these guys figure fans will just accept that the dollars that they are already squeezing and stretching to pay the increasing cost of living are going to pay more for a poor product before the promised good one shows up.

  • Anonymous

    this article has a pretty good summary of DLs time in SJ.

  • Goon Squad


    Wilson already weeded a little too much of Lombardi’s work out of the Sharks lineup. Had they stuck with the core he put in place, they might have been able to win by now. Thornton trade was terrible for Boston, but it actually took a toll on San Jose as well. He hasn’t put that team on his shoulders yet, and they sure could have used Sturm, Stuart, and Primeau last week.

  • Buck

    “…our raising ticket prices shouldn’t equate to whether we won or lost.” YES IT SHOULD! Absolute, self rationalizing bulls**t.

    They’re raising prices now, for mistakes in the RECENT past, let’s be honest. It has little to do with the future. I don’t need to re-list the high priced crap signings, as we’re all too aware of them by now…

  • ARod

    I’ve been a Kings fan for a lot of years and for the first time I see and feel hope. Lombardi may not be perfect but at least he is going about it the right way. Foundation, structure and gap management. It amazes me how many fans don’t understand that in order to put a roster on the ice, right now, we will have to overpay for some players. Very few if any will come cheap and for little money, why??? cause we are not consider conterders as of yet…simple!! At the same time you cannot be irresponsible with the kids and throw them in there, to fill a roster spot, killing any sense of confidence if they are not ready. For those of you who argue Lombardi’s reputation I would agree if san jose would have won anything after his departure, however, they keep on exiting in early rounds. We really don’t know what would have happened if he would have stay and finished what he started.

  • cbgb

    “The Briere signing looks great in hindsight but the Rangers tried your method for years during the 90’s and early 00’s and how successful have they been ?”

    Hate to break it to you, but the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994

  • Anonymous

    I am sure if SJ had kept
    Sturm, Primeau and Stuart
    that they would still be in the playoffs.LOL
    DL is a genius as what other GM would have given
    up Vinny LeCav so he could
    get Bryan Marchment and
    draft Brad Stuart instead.
    Let us not forget the
    brillian drafting of Zyuzin
    and Goc with high first round picks. A couple of
    sure fire hofers there.
    Sharks were a disaster in
    2002 and that is why he got fired. Got stuck with a
    bunch of overpaid veterans
    at the deadline (sound at all familiar?)and a team
    that was in disarray.

  • DellaNooch

    Lets cut the BS about DL doing anything but a great job in SJ. Heres some stats to back it up, think about this before making another bone headed comment.

    Draft Picks:
    Miikka Kiprusoff Year: 1995 Round: 5 Pick: 116, Sharks Vezina Trophy Winner
    Evgeni Nabokov Year: 1994 Round: 9 Pick: 219, Sharks Future Vezina Trophy Winner
    Vesa Toskala Year: 1995 Round: 4 Pick: 90, Sharks NHL Starting Goalie
    Christian Ehrhoff Year: 2001 Round: 4 Pick: 106, Sharks
    Patrick Marleau Year: 1997 Round: 1 Pick: 2, Sharks NHL All-Star
    Ryane Clowe Year: 2001 Round: 6 Pick: 175, Sharks
    Jonathan Cheechoo Year: 1998 Round: 2 Pick: 29, Sharks NHL All-Star
    Scott Hannan Year: 1997 Round: 1 Pick: 23, Sharks
    Marco Sturm Year: 1996 Round: 1 Pick: 21, Sharks*
    Brad Stuart Year: 1998 Round: 1 Pick: 3, Sharks*
    *The last two along with Wayne Primeau were used to acquire Joe Thornton

    Also, SJ won the draft lottery in 1998, but because Tampa had a previous deal with them to switch picks in this draft, they made the switch following the lottery results. DL did not knowingly trade the pick for VL for Brad Stuart, get your facts straight

    Jillson/Sundstrom/3rd for McLaren/4th – Mclaren an NHL Defenseman, Jillson???
    Friesen/Shields for Selanne – Selanne becomes a leading scorer, Friesen declines, Shields is MIA

    More accurate picture of what happened in SJ for DL

    San Jose improved every year for 6 years (only done one other time) and rebounded following that one bad season after DL was already fired. Since DL has been gone, theyve been unable to draft and develop goaltenders to back up Nabokov.

    Theyre now ranked 18th for prospects and falling while the Kings are 5th and climbing, which is a sign of a good GM. SJ trade their first pick last year for a player that left in the off season and the same might be true this year. There might have to be a housecleaning in SJ because theyve only matured and maintained what DL put together but have not gone over the top.

  • Anonymous

    DL did not take over as GM in San Jose until 1996 so
    giving him credit for Kiprusoff, Nabakov,and Toskala
    is incorrect. He did such a great job SJ never got out
    of the second round and was fired during abysmal final
    season.Ask management who fired him how great a job he
    did and maybe their fans as well.Check out his job of
    drafting from 1999 to 2001 and tell me just how how impressive it was.Hockeysfuture prospect ratings are a joke. Check out how many times Detroit has been in their upper echelon of ratings.Keep drinking the DL
    kool-aid. Kings will finish with 73-77 points in 08-09
    and you can say that they improved each season he has
    been in LA. Want to defend his brilliant free agent

  • Anonymous

    I’m kinda on the wall about how much weight to put on DLs FA singings. Have they been bad yes. But I’m not sure that tells the whole store or should even be a major knock on DL at this time. 1st- which FAs had any interest in signing with LA and at a price what was within the team’s salary structure? We’ve all heard that the big name FAs have said no thanks – Chara and Dury come to mind. 2nd- more importantly has it really mattered to this point? would it have made a significant enough difference to put us in the playoffs? Made a difference – if the FA performed, maybe but probably not enough. I don’t think the situation has called for DL to hit a homerun with the FAs. It’ll be more important once the team starts performing better and challenging for the playoffs. Once the team is there then I think more weight can be placed on his FA signings.

  • Anonymous

    When DL made move with Tampa he knew full well he had a
    chance to win the draft lottery. He took a chance and he lost.Where would the Sharks be today had they got VL
    instead of Brad Stuart? That is like saying he is not to blame for signing Handzus, Nagy and the other FA’s because he did not know that they would suck with the Kings.
    Selanne to SJ was a good trade but he did not have his
    best years there. I never said he never made good moves.This was certainly one of them.
    Who drafted Jillson with a 1st round pick? He was able to make up for it because Boston was desperate to move
    McLaren and get him out of the East.
    San Jose did improve for six staight seasons but never
    won more than a round in the playoffs. The only other
    tream that did it were the Islanders and they wound up winning 4 Cups. Greis is a goaltender in SJ system who
    may soon be up.
    San Jose has had the best success in their history since DL left and a good part of their current roster
    has been drafted by or acquired by Doug Wilson.
    Call me a bonehead but the only opinion of DL that matters is that held by SJ management and apparently
    they did not think he was doing a GREAT job.
    Dave Taylor made some great moves but I don’t think too many up here would say he did a great job.

  • DellaNooch

    Anonymous –
    Not sure if this is one person or two, the first one, you’re right about the drafting the goalies, I had it based on a hire date of 94, obviously not the case, at best DL can get credit for bringing them along properly, something LA hasn’t done in 40 years.

    I live in the Bay Area and the fans tell me they like DL and many would have him back if they could, he turned over a good team to the current management with depth and they failed to win it, no fault of his. Its been painful watching the Sharks get better for years while the Kings languish.

    As for the signings, Nagy, Calder and Handzus were risks considering their previous season(s), Preissing and Stuart played better later on in the season, but were disappointments overall. So I’m not going to say they were good, but I’m also realistic about his options last summer, he had to take risks in my eyes. I challenge you to find a better scenario from last summers free agents. Keep in mind he tried for Briere and Drury and they didn’t want to play for the Kings.

    Other Annonymous –
    I was unable to find the information about how/when Tampa had this option to swap picks, could you give us a link to justify your theory that DL should have known he could have the top pick? Obviously that would have been a stupid trade, but I can’t find any information that supports your theory.

    To answer your question about having VL on SJ and where they would be today, well, VLs team finished dead last this year and Stuarts main team (LA) finished ahead of them, so Ill let you speculate. (You set yourself up for that one)

    Also, Lombardi took over a team that had won only 20 games the season before and when he left they had their best year ever (to that point) under his tenure, first division title, advanced out of the first round twice (once beating St. Louis, #1 NHL team in 2000). This team also won their second division title in the season after he left led by players he acquired and a coach he hired. Who knows if he would have acquired the talent to do better than they have? Compare that to the Kings during the same era, I would have taken Lombardi’s team.

    I’ve been following the Kings for 20 years now, for the first time they have a real plan and are building from within for the long haul. I don’t agree with every decision DL makes (Cloutier, are you kidding me?), but at the end of the day, he makes more good decisions (OSullivan, JMFJ) then bad (Still not happy about Cloutier) and this team is getting better from the ground up.

    With that said, this next year is going to be critical, anything less than the playoffs will be a disappointment. In that scenario, DLs leash should be drastically shortened and Crawford should be fired if this team isnt a .500+ team through 20 games next year.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds to me like he’s going after the kid with the Kings logo tattooed on his derriere… I’d like to be a fly on the wall the moment the arbitration talks come up…

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think I set myself up too much since Vinny has
    already won a Stanley Cup.Do you wanna compare careers
    of a bonafide star versus a journeyman defenseman which
    is basically what Brad Stuart is? Ironically Tampa could have played SJ in 2004 finals had Kiprusoff had not come back to bite his old team in the ass.
    On 3/24/98 DL sent Andre Nazarov and Florida first round pick (acquired in Victor Kozlov deal) to Tampa
    for D-men Bryan Marchment and Davis Shaw. At the time
    Florida was having a horrible season and there was every expectation that this could be a top five pick.
    It did even more when it became #1 pick.
    Lombardi has quite a number of detractors in Bay area as well and I know a few of them. The name Dumbardi
    originated up there and did not come from Anthony.
    Does this mean the Kings are doomed? No is the answer.
    This is a different job and he appears to be taking a
    much different approach. His early SJ trades were about
    acquioring veterans and he has not done that here as
    of yet. He is obviously depending heavily on the draft.
    We both agree that this is a crucial year and another
    year out of playoffs could be devastating since the
    team is losing money (joke) and needs to start learning to win to move forward. He will need to make
    a few moves this off season if this team is going to be a playoff contender in 08-09 and I don’t think
    that is unreasonable.Considering Edmonton, Chicago,
    Vancouver and a couple of other were banging on the door this year there is really no reason to believe that they won’t be this season either.

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