OK, here’s the first part of the Lombardi interview from tonight, starting with his general impressions of how the day went and how it related to the Kings. Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion about the job Lombardi does, but you know a person has been working hard when he stops in the middle of a sentence and says, “Is today Tuesday?” We’ve all been there, right? So, here’s the first part, with more to come…
Question: Can you talk about your general impressions of the day? The understanding, going in, was that you weren’t going to be particularly active, but did the day match your expectations?
Answer: “I agree on the first part. I don’t think we were expecting to be tremendously active. I think we were fairly set in terms of the forward situation, other than getting a high, high level guy or something like that. I don’t think that made a lot of sense because we weren’t going that route. On the back end (defense), I think we set out a profile that there were a couple guys we would look at who would fit a box now and maybe better in the future. I wasn’t immune to looking at a couple guys who we could get in now, and will fit right now, but will fit even better in terms of when the other kids come through. We’re still looking at that potential right now. We’re not completely done. But there weren’t a lot of candidates in the first place. A few of them have gone, and that’s fine. There’s still a possibility there but we’re not sure how realistic it is.
“Then the second part is, if the last guy goes who fits across the line, we would still probably look at a bridge player on the back, preferably a left shot. When you’re talking about those bridge-type players, you’re hoping to at least get a fit. I’m not saying we wouldn’t look at a (right) shot, but when you’re looking at a bridge, ideally I think we need a left shot. The other thing that showed up, before free agency and even today, as people spend money to get guys in, there might be a `soft’ deal there, so to speak. Maybe we could trade a `B-level’ prospect or a mid-round or late-round pick for a guy who can be here for a year. So there’s also that avenue for a bridge player.”
Question: Were you focused completely on defensemen?
Answer: “It was completely defensemen. One of the things we were looking at, as I’ve said, is that we want to give every opportunity to those three kids who have paid their dues (Boyle, Moulson and Purcell). Then I think Stoll fills a role. It’s not a bad middle, with Kopitar, Stoll, Handzus and Boyle. Richardson could do the middle and you’ve still got (Armstrong). It’s not bad. There’s not enough there to say, `OK, we’re going to push this kid out because we want an improvement.”’