Crawford quotes

Here’s what Marc Crawford had to say today. I’ll say that coaches certainly are not obligated to call reporters after they get fired, so I definitely appreciate Marc returning the call. Here’s what he had to say about yesterday’s firing…


(on his emotions yesterday…) “I was surprised yesterday. I thought (Lombardi and I) had some good exchanges at the end of the season and I thought we were heading in the same direction. Dean and I talked and I do respect his decision to make the change. In the end, he has to be comfortable and I respect that. I’m disappointed but I’m respectful. I have nothing but good things to say about the L.A. Kings. I’m just sorry I won’t be able to see this great young team continue to develop.”

(on his level of surprise…) “I thought we obviously had made a strong decision, over the last year and a half, to downsize the roster and go young. When you trade all your veterans and your captain and you downsize your people to build for the future, that’s what we were doing. i really take pride in that side of the development process. The development of some of those players speaks for itself. Anze will continue to be a great player. Guys like Patrick O’Sullivan and Brown, I was thrilled to work with those players. I loved the limited time we got with Boyle and I think he’s going to be a strong young player. I loved working with Jack Johnson. I was really comfortable with that. I think it’s the right way to go. But again, at this point i understand that he needed to make a change.”

(on Lombardi’s comment that the firing was a “gut decision”…) “He has to feel comfortable. Dean has been around a long time and he knows what he wants. I’m not a part of what he wants. I thought we were aligned and I thought we were working together really strongly, but obviously we weren’t. That’s fine. It’s a tough business and I do respect his ability to make those decisions.”

(on the criticism of not being able to coach young players…) “The job of a coach doesn’t change. The job of a coach is to get the most out of his team that he absolutely can. From that standpoint, I didn’t do enough to stay here. I’m proud of the relationships I’ve had, and will continue to have, with the players. I heard from a lot of them yesterday. I had a great conversation with Rob Blake. I’ve been coaching in this league for a long time. Players know what I’m like and I will continue to have a great rapport with them.”

(on how he felt the young players developed under his watch…) “Those guys are the nucleus of the team. We have had great conversations within the group. We had some great young cornerstones. In all our meetings we talked about that. I had meetings with four individuals and we talked about that quite a bit. That helped to foster accountability. They have flourished and they will continue to flourished.”

(on whether he thought he had a good relationship with Lombardi…) “Yeah, but obviously not close enough. I thought, based on the meetings we had at the end of the season, that we were working toward the improvement we want to see. But I always have to be about improving myself and making myself a little better. That’s what I tell the players they need to do, and I can’t say it if I’m not practicing it myself.”

(on his future…) “I have talked a little bit with my wife and my family. The good thing is, I have two years left (on my contract) with the Kings. That gives me time to think. Having two years to do that is pretty good. You don’t have to rush in if the situation isn’t right. Quite truthfully, I want to be passionate about the next opportunity. I want to use my passion and give the team everything I have. A big reason that people are attracted to me is that I am passionate and I want to win. I want to make the right decision. If the right opportunity comes quickly, great, or if it takes a while, that’s OK too.”

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  • brianguy

    huh? I read he had 1 year left on his contract. I think it said that in the Times. Rich can you clarify?

    who gives a coach an initial 4-year deal these days anyway… then again this is the franchise that signed (an injured) Dan Cloutier for 3 years.

  • anthony

    You’re right Rich. No obligation on MC’s part.
    Answering your questions without hesitation shows some class on his part.

    Two years ago when he was hired, I heard DL brag about how much “energy and juice” MC had. And he praised him for being such a great coach.
    If their was an understanding and a good relationship between the two, at the end of the 08 season, then why was he fired.
    And why did it take this long to make that decision.
    I don’t understand this. Most other GM’s have already interviewed their candidates and narrowed their choices. All this GM managed to do was take himself out of the running for some suitable candidates.

    And what’s this idiotic thinking that it’s not important to hire a new coach by draft day. And that all a coach really does is just sit around and talk to the young players (per his conference call). That there is no urgency to hire a coach in the near future.

    The fact of the matter is that this GM is clueless and and maybe even brainless.
    Most of whatever he said in the past, he’s contradicted and has taken back.
    -ah yes, Crawford is a great coach with juice and enery – then he’s fired.
    -Handzus is THE KEY after his crappy free agent signings $4 Million
    -Cloutier is the one to stop the puck until Bernier is ready.
    -MCauley, a great two way hockey player – bought out
    -Thornton, great leader
    -Blake is this and that
    It’s all a joke now.

    He preaches youth movement. NOw watch him sign that 50 year old Blake to a long term contract.

    A team with all youth and no strong veteran leadership (not Blake) will be not a success for a long time.
    At this pace, we’re not gonna see the playoffs until 2017.
    And the new GM who’ll take his place after three seasons will deal with ireprable damage caused by DL.

    This GM has been one disaster after another and I can’t believe some of you Lombardi worshipers aren’t holding him accountable.
    I mean what’s it gonna take.

  • Rich Hammond

    brianguy…Right, thanks, I meant to clarify that but forgot. Crawford had a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year. As part of the buyout, the Kings will pay part of that fourth year. That’s what Crawford said.


    At least he’s handling it like a pro and gracefully too.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Anthony Dean said your not invited to the cup parade in 2010. If you want somthing to hate become a raiders fan instead. Ask Ken Holland how bad Detroit was in the early 80’s. The Kings were a disaster when DL came in you want an quick fix. Ok lets do it the way the Kings always have. Trade all our great young talent for overpriced old men who wont win us a cup but will leave us with no talent for the future. That will get us where we are today, LAST PLACE.

  • chris99

    Seriously, is there anyone better than Rich out there? Thank you so much for this incredible access.

    As for Crow, he went onto my poop list the second he didn’t put Gretzky on the shoot-out in the Olympics. What an idiot.

    I’m glad he’s gone and I hope Deano hires some unknown, young hungry coach.

  • Goon Squad

    Another gem from anthony:
    “why was he fired.
    And why did it take this long to make that decision.”

    You sir, are not capable of being objective at all. You don’t understand why Crawford was fired, yet you think maybe it should have been done sooner? READ. Lombardi, whom you insult at every pass, has been infinitely clear in his comments. I’ll try to summarize for you.

    Based solely on the record of the past 2 seasons, Crawford had not performed poorly enough to merit termination. Therefore, at season’s end he was not terminated.

    Based on a re-evaluation of the progress and future projection of this team, (which happened now) it became clear that Crawford had not performed well enough to establish himself as the right coach for these young players going forward. Therefore, he was terminated.

    You have to look at your own comments and realize that you opinions toward Lombardi are prejudicial, and that you will find fault no matter what he does.

  • DellaNooch

    I’m impressed by Anthony’s comment, he didn’t bash Cammy this time,jk….I do agree with him that timing is odd, but that doesn’t lead me to believe DL is an idiot, rather there is more to this than we’re hearing. I’ve said this before and I’ll say again, I felt he only had about 20 more games to prove he could make this team a winner before he should get the ax, perhaps doing it now is better. I would say he was very professional in calling Rich back and in his answers, I hope he finds another coaching job and rebounds…thanks for trying Marc

  • Sybil227

    Hi Rich! I was wondering if you could clarify something for me. We owe Crawford for the next year of his contract & partially for the option year. Are we off the hook for that money if he signs on to coach another team?

  • OC Kings Fan

    Viva la Rich Hammond!!!!

    As usual, you blog has the breaking exclusives and the information straight from the sources!

    Please don’t ever leave us!

  • Max

    Thank you Rich, this rapidly has become my most frequented site.

    I’m pretty surprised the Kings fired Crawford with all he has done with our youth. We are not out of our youth movement yet. He’s one of the few Kings coaches I’ve seen that has given young up-and-comers, first line time and a shot at being as good as they can be and not just 4th line pluggers who have to check and grind their way to the top line.

    I wasn’t happy with his record as a coach, especially after seeing Nashville get into the playoffs after all the dumping they did last offseason, during the fiasco of the team sale/non-sale.

    I know Lombardi will hire a guy who he thinks will further progress the plan in place. I just hope it gets executed.

    What’s up with Cammy and Frolov getting no love as far as our future goes? Granted they are not the guys that will carry our team, but they can be, and hopefully will be very valuable pieces.