Lombardi, on the coaching search

Here’s what Lombardi had to say about the ongoing coaching search…

“We’ve been inundated with some incredibly competent people. I could say the number has reached 30, from all areas of experience, from proven NHL coaches to minor-league coaches to junior coaches. We have them listed in those three areas and that’s it. First we had to deal with the critical nature of the draft, the critical nature of getting the business plan to match the hockey plan and the critical nature of free agency. If we spread ourselves too thin and try to do too much at once, that wasn’t smart. …. I told the candidates at the draft, no disrespect but we have to get through the draft and then tomorrow, as soon as (free agency is) over we will give all our energy to the coaching search. As a practical matter, maybe (the search) goes a little longer than you’d like, but it’s more important that you do it right.”

On whether he thinks it’s important to get a coach in place before signing players…

“I’d go the other way. If you’re in the NBA, where those players have to fit a coach’s system, there’s an element of that. We’re still in the process of putting this together. This is what we have to work with and this is where we’re going. So the question is, who’s the best coach to fit that model? If we were at Detroit’s level, it’s very clearly different. When you’re in the building mold, you’re going to get young players and develop a core. Putting that in place, you need a coach who will answer, `How are you going to handle those young players? What are you going to do to make Kopitar and Brown be better? What are you going to do if the goaltending isn’t quite there yet?’ The coach’s job has to have a builder’s sector to it. He has to be able to see the forest through the trees. When it’s over you have to find a way to make these players better. I had one of the best of the business with this with Darryl Sutter in San Jose. That coach has to understand that coming in. When you’re talking about young players with upside, your coaches have to trust your personnel.”

On whether it’s safe to say he’s looking for a “teacher” as a new coach…

“We all have certain strengths, whether we’re coaches or scouts or whatever. You’d like to have your coach be able to motivate and get respect and be a good bench coach. If you put down those qualities, you’d like to have all `A’s.’ We’re all stronger in some areas than others. When you put down qualities of the coach for this team, it’s safe to assume that being a teacher is a big part of it. You have to command respect and also be able you can win every night.”

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  • anthony

    I liked what DL did at the draft and the Lubo trade.
    But lets face it. The reason why he hasn’t hired a coach yet is because – he’s a hands off total control freak.
    He hasn’t even interviewed anybody for that job, except for Mike Johnston.
    He’s not concerned about hiring a coach yet.
    He doesn’t want anybody suggesting to him or giving him any advice.
    He wants total control of the decision making process (no sharing what so ever).
    And he doesn’t want to be told what to do.

    When the new coach comes into the picture, he’s gonna be like a pet dog with a very short leash.

  • Anonymous

    How does Anthony get any work done when he spends all his time hitting the refresh button on Rich’s Blog? How else is that he’s always the first one to reply?

  • petey

    Anthony, DL controls what players he brings in, the coach is left to decide how and where he plays those players. The coach has very little to say about what players DL trades for, signs as UFA’s or drafts. DL is bringing in the right players to build this team upon, then he’ll bring in the right coach to coach & teach those players.
    Brent Sutter would’ve been good to have available right about now. I was hoping DL would’ve gone with him in the first place.

  • Bob Bobson

    Anonymous ! I represent that remark ! For me, the secret is A.D.D. Work, Refresh, Work, Refresh…