Lombardi/Murray quotes

Major thanks again to Don for compiling this. He has included the press-conference quotes from Dean Lombardi and Terry Murray as well as quotes from a one-on-one interview with Murray…

Lombardi Opening Statement

I think this is the toughest job in the National Hockey League right now. Many of you who have followed us for the last couple of years, this is the first year that I think we are going to start to get young. And getting young and building a franchise is very difficult. It requires someone with special skills, because getting young for the sake of getting young is not the way to build. You have to get young in the right way, and you have to get young at the right time.

Overall, it requires someone who can focus on each individual battle, but not lose sight of the ultimate objective, which is to win the war.

The checklist required for this job:

Number one, a knowledge of the game. I don’t think there is anybody who could question, who knows the game and knows the National Hockey League of Murph’s respect that he has in terms of understanding the game inside and out.

Number two, work ethic. I know from experience that his light burns longer than mine and with that I know he is putting in the effort.

Three, a teacher. For those of you who can remember Murph as a player, he was a smart player who got by on his smarts and his guile and found a way through the years to translate his experience to younger players and veteran players alike.

Four, he’s honest and direct. He knows and distinguishes between those who are kissing his butt and who are hustling his butt. He won’t always tell them what they want to hear, but in the end it is about trusting him and trusting that he wants to make you better.

Five, he is about structure on and off the ice in everything we do.

Six, the ability to communicate, and when I say communicate, when you have 80 players on your reserve list, it is up to everybody in the franchise to be able to communicate with the players. But the importance of the head coach in communication is establishing the message from the trenches and finding a way to delegate it so that it goes out clearly and concisely and on the same page.

Seven, understanding the meaning of culture. I don’t think it is any coincidence that three of the four teams in the Stanley Cup Finals have a history of winning. Dallas, Detroit and Philadelphia are teams that have established a culture that I think is invaluable. It is that five or ten percent that makes you a little better than your competition and I think having watched Terry through the years and to see where he’s been, he understands the larger picture of building a culture as well as a team.

Lastly, the issue of character. I don’t think character is what you say, it is what you do. I think sometimes the most revealing test of character is how you handle adversity. When you are in athletics the meaning of character is to be the best you can be and be a teammate. When Murph was not coaching, he didn’t go out and promote himself. He accepted a job within the organization, asked his role, and went out and did it, to do everything he could to help the organization to win. It wasn’t beneath him to be a scout. He went out and learned and saw the bigger picture by sitting in the rinks and studying other teams. When he was asked to be an assistant coach, he assisted one of the most successful current coaches in Ken Hitchcock, and went out there and did his job every night for the best of the team. And then he assisted in breaking in one of the top young coaches in the game in John Stevens. And that is character. It was all about the team and not himself.

There is no question that Murph met the checklist and I am pleased to introduce him to the Los Angeles Kings.

Murray Opening Statement.

This is very exciting for me and my family to be come a part of this organization. I’m coming in to this with my eyes wide open. As Dean was talking about my past experience the last few years with the Philadelphia Flyers, I know exactly what the process is, to move this along and to get this organization back on track. We have some very good young hockey players in this organization, and we’re going to get younger and we are going to bring along those young players at the right time and develop them in the right process so that they can feel success in this NHL. It is a very, very difficult league to play in; it’s a man’s league, but I’m looking forward to putting in the time and effort to help develop these young hockey players to become the very best that they can.

This process that I have been through the last couple of weeks with the interview and meetings with Dean and Hexy has been very revealing to me. The amount of work that has been put into this organization since the end of the season until now has been absolutely incredible. I see the amount of time that has been put in by these two people and the other people from the organization sitting in this room today. I know that from this point forward, we as a coaching staff are required to put in the same amount of time for the process of bringing these players along.

It is going to be hard, I’ll tell you that right now and be upfront about it. I know it is going to be difficult and I know there are going to be some very long nights, but as we work our way through the process and come out on the other side, we are going to have some young players who are going to be the core players of this hockey club and they are going to take ownership of this hockey club. And we as coaches and management, we look at it you see that good things are really going to start happening and it is a great opportunity for this young group of players to come out of training camp and take advantage of this opportunity that is there for them now.

Q&A With Terry Murray

On if, after being out of a head coaching job since 2001, he ever thought he would get this opportunity:

“I did think that I would some day. I was hoping that it would happen at some point and it has. It is a great opportunity. I’m really looking forward to working with people I know in Dean and Hexy, our time together in Philadelphia and bringing that understanding how we work and operate together and bring it all together for the Kings and make this thing work and work in the right way. It is an exciting time.”

On the factors that brought him to Los Angeles:

“The opportunity to work with good people and a team that has a plan that has been put in place and laid out before me. This team has real good young players right now and we need to get younger and we need to bring in people from the organization, players we have drafted and get them into the process of playing and developing. And I also understand that process requires a lot of doing it the right way, we have to make sure that the players we bring in are ready to play. So we need to get younger, we need to get the young guys going and we also need to get the players who are presently young players on this hockey club to really start to show the way, to help lead and take over as core players on this hockey club and help these new young guys get their feet under them the right way.”

On if coaching this Kings team is similar to any previous coaching experiences:

“There are similarities absolutely. When I took over the Philadelphia Flyers they had missed the playoffs five years in a row. Yes, they had some real good players in place, but the fact of the matter is that you have to change the attitude, you have to get things back on track and start playing as a team and doing things the right way. Going into Florida and taking a team that had been in last place, it took a year where we got reorganized, got some new guys in the lineup and got headed in the right direction and made the playoffs the second year. So yes, there are similarities in places I’ve been and I’m hoping to draw on that experience and get things going the right way.”

On putting together his coaching staff:

“I need to go through that with people here. It is just going to be a matter of sitting down and meeting and seeing what they are thinking. I need to get some feel for where they are and make some decisions real soon. I don’t want to delay this long. I want to get it in place so we can start getting ready for training camp.”

On his coaching philosophy:

“My philosophy coming in after going to teams to coach that were going through tough times is patience, communication, development, on-ice structure. I’m very big on the details side of things. It is developing a core group of players, the leadership group that I want to have as the liaisons that can carry the message from my office into the locker room. There’s a lot of things that I think need to be set in place in order to start getting things to work the right way. And that is the challenge that you have. You have a group of players and you want to bring it together as a team as soon as possible. I see Dustin Brown sitting here today and players like him and the young guys on this hockey club and helping to accelerate that it will make the head coaching job a little easier.”

On his young defensemen:

“We know defenseman is a difficult position to play for a young player. It is going to take everyone on the ice, the whole team to help develop the young players, especially defenseman. In system-style play, we really need the forwards to help out on the defensive part of the game for those young defensemen to have success. They can’t be isolated and left on their own facing odd situations coming at them with a lot of speed. The game has that today more than ever, the speed coming at them and decision-making has to be a reaction. We’ll get the young defensemen going in the right direction and the confidence in their games that they need so that they can contribute as we start to move forward here.”

On the Kings job being the most difficult in the NHL:

“The head coaching job is real hard whether you are coaching a top team in the NHL, your job with all of that good talent and expectations really high, it is no different for the teams that have not made the playoffs. The expectations are to develop the players and to become better. It is a process, and we’ve got to go through that process together. We have talked about this as an organization, we know that and we are going to follow that plan.”

On how his coaching style changed following his controversial dismissal from the Flyers in 1997:

“Philosophies can change and they do from year to year, team to team. The fact that I did go into scouting and saw what the game was about from that side, and then I became an assistant coach for Ken Hitchcock and also with John Stevens and you see the young players that are now brought in, I think since the 2004 lock-out there has been a great change in our game. With the cap in place you’re now demanded literally to bring the young players into the system and that takes a lot of change of philosophy. We have to bring young players along and we have to develop our veteran players to be better players. Today, as opposed to before the lock-out if you were having problems with a player you could very easily send him to the minors or trade him, but times have changed. Culture has changed, philosophies have changed, attitudes have changed. I much more relaxed than I was in 1994 when I first became coach of the Flyers. Experience has been a wonderful thing.”

On the next steps he will take to introducing himself to his players:

“The first thing I want to do is sit down with our strength and conditioning coach. This is such an important time right now through the start of training camp as to how the whole thing will work. I’m sure things are already in place, but I just want to get an opportunity to sit down and talk and discuss the importance from my side of it and my experience in the game. This is an opportunity to get better, stronger and develop these young players. After that, I want to sit down and talk to players, phone calls, get with players who are down here and get a feel for who they are what they are all about.”

On the Southern California hockey environment:

“Any city in the game today, any environment is what you make it to be. I coached in Florida and in Washington and Philadelphia and you develop a culture, an identity or feeling around your locker room. To me it doesn’t matter, when I go into that rink and go out on the ice, you are in a hockey rink and you are there to play hockey. But we have to make sure that we do the right thing with the young players. It doesn’t matter where you are, whether you are in Philadelphia or Los Angeles, if you’re not doing the right stuff with the young players and making sure that they are on track every day and reminding them of all the distractions that are out there and to keep focus and practice and playing hard then it is going to be difficult no matter where you are.”

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  • john

    I think this guy is going to do a great job, from what I’ve heard him say and what I’ve heard his peers say about him he seems to be almost exactly what we needed.

  • anthony

    Rich, the effort you put in for us fans is amazing.

    DL said that this is the first year that the team is gonna start getting young and build a franchise.

    Duh. What the hell was he doing in his fist 2 seasons.

    It seems to me that he’s starting to fix all the mistakes he’s made.
    -his free agent signings
    -his terrible trades (except for two)
    -buying out players he never should have never signed
    -replacing coaches after just seasons (after signing them for 4 years including an option)
    -trading away veterans days after signing them to a long term contract (then claiming the contract is too expensive)

    His first two seasons, he showed nothing but failure. Now in his 3rd season, he’s turning a new page after realizing the mistakes he’s made.

    I wish him luck in this new endeavor.
    I hope Terry Murray bails him out.
    I really do.
    I miss playoff hockey.

  • yesitscal

    With the Kings getting younger, it looks like they’ll be right in the thick of the John Tavares hunt this season! Go, Kings!

  • nykingfan

    Good luck Terry Murray.
    Lets hope he gets us going in the right direction…towards the cup.

  • JDM

    I think he’s got the right attitude. I never liked Crawfords attitude, let alone his coaching style. I can actually see the players WANTING to play for this guy. I have a good feeling.

  • 28 KINGS

    Lord Anthony, you couldn’t leave a comment without ripping on Lombardi could you?

    “-trading away veterans days after signing them to a long term contract (then claiming the contract is too expensive)”

    Which ones?

    Lubo signed his new contract LAST YEAR, and the new deal wasn’t set to kick until this season. AEG has their finger prints all over this trade/salary dump.

  • Paincorp

    T. Murray seems like the real deal. He’s got a history of winning, but not only that, doing it with sub-par clubs. His attitude at first glance is extremely refreshing.

    How about DUSTIN BROWN though?!?! How committed is this guy? He was at the development camp a few times, he’s at the press conference, I LOVE the fact that Brownie is not only making the commitment to this team, but outwardly showing it. I get the feeling he wants to take this team and make it his. He’s leading by example and is not afraid to be in public when he doesn’t need to in order to support his team. He keeps this up, he gets the C easy. I hope the rest of the youngins’ follow his lead and get some good size extentions signed (JMFJ, Anze, Sully…pay attention) and start walking his walk.

    Nice hire. Looking forward to seeing what happens.

  • Bob Nevin

    Looking at the schedule, it looks like the Kings might win one in early december. What number does Tavares wear?

  • anthony

    I know my wordings were off, but that’s what paralegals are for.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Rich and Don for this. I look forward to watching the young Kings under T. Murray this season. It may be brutal for another year but I have faith that it won’t stay that way for long.

  • metalmaster

    Regurgitated retread-not exactly progressive thinking
    from old Deano
    As I said before where was Deano when Flyers were giving away R.J. Umberger a player who could have
    definitely helped instead of a guy who coached the
    Legion of Doom in the 90′s

  • steve

    Reading Lombardi’s quotes really depresses me. I read this to mean that this season is the first season of his rebuild. Therefore in his mind we are still 3 years away from the playoffs. Boy thats great. The big question will be -When they make the playoffs will anyone care

  • trdi

    The video of the conference is on the official Kings site.

  • lblocal

    Don, Rich. Thank you.

    Deano, (and whomever ultimately signs off of this coaching decision)

    SOLID hire.

    Now, shuck the agents/lawyers/knowitalls, and get everyone else within the or-gan-eyes-zay-shun on board.

    Go KINGS Go!

  • JDM

    I just remembered, did anyone else notice at the press conference that Murray pointed out that Brown was there? A bunch of people mentioned him being one of, if not the only King to be at several days of the development camp as well. Really does seem like the organization is either pushing him, or he is self promoting, but that he is poised for something… I smell a captain.

  • jack handy

    he talks the talk…

    lets hope he walks the talk too.

    i liked his answers and i like his resume.

    good luck TM… we need it.

  • Harry
  • Moondoggie

    I like this guy. He’s been successful, he’s been a rebuilder, he knows how to work with young defensemen, he’s experienced, he’s worked with young teams, need I say more? Sounds awfully good to me….of course the old saying “Anything that sounds too good to be true probably is….” comes to mind. Still tho, I think Terry Murray is a good fit and will work out much better than Crow did. Just seeing or knowing which line Sully will be on night after night without trying to figure out just which line he’s actually playing on almost brings a tear to my eye….

    Regarding Brownie, his showing up at camp, being at the press conference, his attitude on the ice, his youthful exuberance, his example in the locker room, give him the “C”, he’s earned it.

    Rich, thank you again for the updates and the excellent coverage. But dude, take a week off brah…your wife is going to shoot your tail if you don’t give her an honest vacation, some place far away where they’ve never heard of hockey!

  • Gunshow?

    DL plan is finally coming together. If we all remember back a few weeks ago DL went to ownership with a choice. Do I make this trade and go this way, or do we go young? Basically I think he feels that the core of the team, AK, DB, JJ,PO can now lead the team. So he dumps MC, trades LV, gets younger, and hires a coach who is motivated to teach young players.

    Now lets hope it works.

    Thanks to Rich and Don

  • mrbrett7

    JDM…I noticed that as well. Brownie is the only one of the kids who seems to be the most committed to this team and this city.

    Reward him right now with the C.

  • Bobby

    People on here complain about the people from LGK but, the comment section on this site is becoming just like LGK. Everyone is negative just to be negative.

    Yes DL said the Kings will be getting younger this year. Just like in the past 2 years he stated he is signing FA’s as a bridge till the young players are ready. Hence, why he signed FA’s for short contracts or traded them for picks at the end of last year. The young players are now ready to join the big club so, this is the year the Kings will get younger.

    What exactly did you want DL to do last year? Remember, last year most of you were crying over the fact Hickey was a wasted draft pick. Now everyone wants him to be a starter. Everyone wants the Kings to do a complete rebuild but, now you want them to sign FA’s to win now.

    From what I can see DL’s plan is falling into place. Take a moment and look at the prospects ratings. The Kings are 5th. When is the last time that has happened? Everyone said they would be patient when DL was hired bc he had a plan….just step back from the keyboard and try and have the patience you said you would.

  • nykingfan

    I agree. Brownie should get the “C”. From what I’m reading, the guy has been at the prospects camp and was also at the press conference. That’s what a leader does.

  • mrbrett7

    Thank you Bobby. The problem with many Kings fans is they can’t think 5 minutes ahead.

    While Lombardi was building up his reserve list, he still had to field a team, regardless of how good or bad it was. He didn’t have a leg to stand on to attract usefull free agents because this franchise has been a joke for 40 years, so he overpaid and did what he had to do in the meantime.

    I don’t think anyone realized just how bad things were under Taylor, McMaster and Beverly leading up to Lombardi.

  • Anonymous

    “Everyone is negative just to be negative”- did you even read the post’s dude??- at least half are positive, and most of the negatives are by the resident naysayers. So, yeah, i guess it’s just like LGK- you’ve gotta do some weeding to find the intelligence.

    anyone else getting sick of people being cutesy with the word organization (or-gan-eyes-zay-shun), seriously, it’s just lame to spell like that.

  • brianguy

    things were bad under previous regimes as far as the resources attained to building a long-term consistent winner, yes. however some of our best prospects (and now, current players — Frolov, Kopi, Brown, Bernier etc) were also attained by these groups. so it wasn’t all bad. and if Deadmarsh, Palffy, and Allison don’t all suddenly get hurt at roughly the same time and retire around 2003 this team would have gone to the playoffs at least twice more in the last 5 years and probably won a few playoff series along the way. unfortunately that would mean we would now be farther behind in building a young team that will be a consistent winner in the future, but let’s also keep a frame of reference.

    Lombardi’s comments about Murray communicating with the players in our system and especially those who have been brought in to build up our reserve list is very telling, and echo what I had been saying from the middle of last season. Crawford sure as hell doesn’t know the players that belong to the franchise and how in the world is he helping them learn and develop or bring them into the organization at the NHL/AHL level. it was clear he didn’t even know the names of half the players in our organization last year and it was pretty shameful. also, closer to the beginning of last season when the Kings started to fall into the doldrums I mentioned I didn’t think Crawford was the right coach for a younger team, a few folks (perhaps not here, but maybe on a couple of other websites… hockeybuzz or HF come to mind) shouted me down and said I didn’t know what I was talking about since Crawfish had started out by “developing” a winner in Quebec back in ’94 or ’95.

    and also points to him not really being Dean’s choice in the first place but basically a compromise as coach following Leiweke’s stupid “win now dammit but build a future dynasty too!!” philosophy.

  • Dave

    Bobby well said couldnt have said it better myself

  • mrbrett7

    Uh, Brian…Bernier was drafted by Lombardi.

    Previous regimes all had one thing in common. They tried to win now, while building a reserve list. Unless you have a superstar in place, that is next to impossible to do. There is ONE team that has been able to do that…Detroit. How did they do that? They had a superstar (Yzerman), a real defense and goaltending, 3 things we did not have.

    Yes, Allison, Ziggy and Deadmarsh were a nice start, but beyond that, the defense was shaky, and there was still horrific goaltending. A decent run for 20 or so games by Potvin doesn’t make a goaltender.

    Crawford didn’t develop a thing in Quebec. He was handed Sakic, Forsberg, Foote, Roy, and the rest…I could have coached that team to a cup. When he actually had to coach, in Vancouver, he was handed more great stars, did a decent job, and in all that time, won ONE playoff series in which the entire Blues team was sick with the flu.

    Lombardi is doing exactly what he wanted. In order to build this team from within, he had to blow up the entire thing, and start over from scratch, as if this was an expansion franchise.

  • Robert

    Deano is doing exactly what he wanted? PLEASE. Did he WANT to finish in last place? Did he want to sign Visnovsky to a long term contract then have him play like hell and trade him? Did he want to fire Crawford? Did he want to be paying Cloutier? Willsie? McCaulley? Did he want Blake on the team this year? Did he want Souray and all the other free agents he went after?

    The “plan” is falling out of the sky. He was told not to spend. He’s trimmed the budget, put in all young cheap players and he’s gonna finish last again. Those of you that truly don’t see this are the ones that can’t think beyond what management feeds you.

  • KingFan4ever

    I just finished watching the press conference on Kings Vision and I so far I am impressed with Murray’s intelligence and credentials. Let’s see how that translates to results on the ice….

    But did anyone notice how DL’s demeanor through the press conference? When he finally introduced Terry Murray he didn’t seem too thrilled… like he was introducing someone that was 3rd or 4th choice or something. And while TM was answering questions from the press, Deano was looking like he was at a funeral, looking down and in a daze?

    How about a little enthusiasm Deano?? Everyone knows the pickle the Kings organ-I-zation is but how about a little zealousness?

  • anthony

    KingFan4ever,
    Maybe DL is feeling some heat from ownership.
    For his 2 years of Zippo.

  • Rebe

    New question!!!!
    If Brownie is going to wearing the “C” when does Deano tear up his contract and pay him he true value?

    That is why Stoll and Sully haven’t signed. They want more than Brownie is making….Because that is the going rate now.

  • Anonymous

    kingsfan4ever…..DL doesn’t always show it but he’s a good guy and I am sure he was very glad with the new coach….He’s just INTENSE…and he doesn’t like the dog and pony show stuff with the cameras….he wanted to get out of there and watch film with the coaches until 10:pm…he is ALL business…and most likely does not belong in Hollywood unless they do a re-make of the Godfather and he is the main character…AEG hired another guy for the dog and pony…..

  • nykingfan

    Rebe,

    Why should they tear up his contract? What is this, the NFL? He signed the contract for the length because he wanted the security. Nothing wrong with that. He agreed to leave $$ on the table for the security of being with this team for the longer term. There’s no reason that this contract shouldn’t be adhered to. I’m sure Kopitar will end up making more $$ than Brownie and I can pretty much guarantee you that he won’t be crying for his contract to be re-negotiated.

    I also can’t see reading into DL’s facial and body expressions. I’m sure if the Kings ever hoist the cup under his watch, he’ll be smiling then.

  • anthony

    Rebe,
    You are absolutely right.
    When players like Boyle, Purcell, and Ersberg start making more than Brown, he’s gonna either demand a renegotiation or a trade.

  • KingFan4ever

    That’s the thing. I’ve seen him be jovial and cheerful many times. It’s just really odd that he had the “deer-in-the-headlights” look yesterday….

  • JDM

    To me, DL looked emotionally exhausted, and like he just hates press events. He’s much better in one on one interviews. He looked like someone who hasn’t slept much lately… and if he’s losing sleep over the Kings, then he’s got the right idea.

  • mrbrett7

    Wow…I need emoticon’s on this thing…the one where I can just slap my face and shake my head. It’s amazing how slow people can be.

  • yesitscal

    I’m optimistic about the team they’ll ice for the 2010-’11 season, but if anyone thinks the current team is going to challenge for the playoffs this year you’re truely deluded. When Tom Preissing is your veteran blue-liner who’s going to menor the kids… Nothing again Tom, but is he the ideal guy for that role? Don’t think so!

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