Lombardi: Doughty and Bourque?

OK, this should be the end of the interview. I hope everyone found it interesting and informative. Obviously, I couldn’t ask every question, and I know there are a lot of specific questions that people want answered, but hopefully from the long answers, you’ll see why I asked the type of questions I did. A lot of the draft/prospect related questions can be asked at the end of the season, and the period leading up to the draft and free agency. For now, I’m going to rest my hands.


Question: In your opinion, which Kings player has had the most surprising season?

LOMBARDI: “I think you’d have to say that any time an 18-year-old comes in plays that type of minutes with that much poise… As much as I like this kid (Doughty), I don’t know if I’ve seen this before, at this age.”

Question: On one of your teams, or ever?

LOMBARDI: “On any team. Ray Bourque, I saw him break in. I’m not saying he’s Ray Bourque, but he’s not out of place. The funny thing is, I thought his worst game was against the Islanders, the one we just played. That was his worst game, by far. And it was kind of weird, because he has raised the bar so high with his play. Now, when he has a game that might be considered an average game for a 19-year-old, it sticks out like, `That was awful.’ But if he had thrown you that back in October, when he was just breaking in, you would say, `Well, that’s a 19-year-old.’

“But when you see that, after what he has done consistently… That rush he made the other night against Edmonton, in the 4-on-4. He went around and changed speed and he tried to jam it in on his forehand. Do you know how hard that is? And he’s trying to win the game. That’s what I love about this kid. He’s recognizing, already the moments where it’s like, `OK, I’ve got to take a little risk here.’ His timing, not only in terms of how he keeps things simple, but subtlely, it’s high-level. That’s what the great ones do. They’re not bringing you out of your seat, the top defensemen. What does Lidstrom do that brings you out of your seat? He just makes the right play at the right time. You’ve got to really know the game in order to appreciate him.

“But what (Doughty) does too, is, he recognizes when he has to jack it up, with a little more risk. `I’ve got to make something happen,’ like he did in that overtime. It was like, `I’m going to do something here. It’s time.’ I guess that’s the biggest surprise, because there’s not a lot of history on it. Phaneuf went back to junior. Pronger struggled his first year. Niedermayer went back to junior. I’m running all these guys through my head.

“What I love so far is, he’s living with Greene, and I’m watching it closely. It goes back to his parents. We did all our interviews, and I spent a lot of time on the road there with the family. This kid’s head, I think, is a direct reflection of the family. They’re solid. The father was a former athlete and the mom is proud, but they understand the line. They live for their kid, not through their kid. There’s a huge difference. When we made the decision that he was our guy, it wasn’t only about the player. We were in that house and we met the family on numerous occasions. You just got the feeling that this kid would be able to keep his head on straight, and he’s doing that. That’s becoming an aberration now. You look at some of these parents now, and it’s off the charts.

“Mike Richards’ parents are great. A guy once told me, `Go to one of those Hockey Canada things, where they gather the parents, and look at the way they interact.’ That’s how you know how the kids have been brought up. A pretty smart guy told me that about five years ago. We’re seeing this metamorphosis, where the parents are so involved. I remember doing it around the Canadian team, and Mike Richards’ parents just stood out. So the theory held. I wanted to test the theory. There was a whole group of parents, and you could hear the ones who were just talking about themselves or their kid, and then there was Mike Richards’ parents. You could pick them out. It was unbelievable. So with Drew, I think he will stay on this course, if the reflection of his parents is accurate.”

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  • voice of reason

    Rich–you are a golden god. Thanks for going above and beyond, as you so often do.

  • 2008-09 KINGS MVP


  • anthony

    In a couple more seasons. Drew Doughty’s name will be used in the same nature as Bourque

  • variable


    thanks for the in-depth interview and yr dedication towards the blog…great stuff from deano…

    maybe (after yr hands heal) give us yr interpretations on what was said and the experience itself…

    thanks again for yr professionalism and yr work…!

  • aj

    it’s hard not to eat up these Lombardi interviews and not ask for more. Absolutely love every question posed and answer responded. For the two of you…


  • Gary Livingston


    Thanks, Rich, for all this. Good note to end on too =)

  • BakoCACondorsKingsFan

    My question is:

    For what newspaper could you EVER do such an interview in such depth and responsiveness to us fan? I don’t know what you need to do to get paid from this, but this coverage far surpasses the average newspaper, blog or internet magazine.

    Stay with us Rich, as long as you can, but may you earn the money and respect that you deserve.


  • Chris Bond

    Man I am going to cry…they should make a TV movie about DREW……..Thanks Rich Once again class act.

  • Anonymous

    I still want to know what DL is going to do with the USA Olympic Team…they’ve asked him to do something and I would love to know…
    oh…and when is the next GM breakfast?

  • Bob Bobson


    Go ahead and dip your hands in some ice cold water. I’m sure they are burning hot right now ! If there is one thing I picked up pretty quickly on this guy it’s transcribing anything from Dean Lombardi (even a simple hi) is going to take half an hour. Haha…

    But I’m glad he goes into all this insight b/c he seems to care about building a winner. At the end of the day, this is a great marketing tool for the Kings where they say “see, we are doing all this and we’ve thought this through so be patient” and I gotta say personally, it worked. I am drinking the Kool-aid down !

  • CWW

    Rich – great news day for all of us. I think it helps to see behind the curtain like this and understand that DL is 100% focused on building a winner. He will have hits and misses, but his vision seems to be very clear. Thanks very much.

  • Anonymous


    Simply awesome stuff. This would have been an otherwise overly average, non-Kings game day, but you turned it into a highly pleasurable one.

    Great questions. Dean also seems to never short change a question, atleast not in the word count department. In fact, the few times he did give a short answer, it said just that much more because he was brief and to the point.

    He really is an intelligent man. I know many people read his words and think he is all over the place, but to me, that is the mark of a true thinker. Lombardi certainly doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to just accept anything on the surface. His intesity to delve and ponder is what makes him seem to have foresight on deals such as the Visnovsky trade. He’s looking at the right things and asking the right questions, because he seems to constantly be questioning himself first and foremost.

    I have to admit, after today, I have a bit of a man-crush on DL. That’s never happened with someone who didn’t have a pair of skates on at the time. I am truly thrilled that this man is running the Kings.

    Kool-aid or not, Lombardi knows not just hockey, but sports, and more importantly people. The fact that he even bothered to mention Drew’s parents, let alone get to know the whole family, is a clear sign of his dedication and his knowledge of what makes a person worthy of being a highly paid athlete.

    Thanks again Rich! The little kid in me wants more and more and more, but that was truly a great body of interview work you put together. I hope in the future your name is as synonymous with the Kings and quality as Bob Miller’s.

  • JDM

    Dangit, JDM’ed myself again. Anonymous post from me coming soon between this one and CWW’s.

  • Bring Back the Shield Jersey

    Thanks Rich.

  • Mike

    “Anonymous said:
    I still want to know what DL is going to do with the USA Olympic Team…they’ve asked him to do something and I would love to know…”

    I believe I read that DL would be some sort of West Coast scout.
    Since Burke is now in Toronto, Burke wants someone out west can
    help him keep an eye on NHL talent out west.
    This is a very general description by me, but I believe that is the general idea
    of what I read in USA Hockey Magazine

  • Cynic

    Three Words Rich:


    Imagine if this was the 70’s and you were doing this with a typewriter…LOL

    Incredible overall piece. Do they give out Pulitzers for blog work? If not, they should and if so, this one needs to be nominated.

    I pounded the Kool-Aid and have worked my way up to the PowerAde. How nice is it to have an old-tyme hockey guy as our GM. Have we ever had an old-tyme hockey guy as our GM? Maybe Jake Milford & Rogie? Neither of them seem nearly as intense as Deano.

    We’re lucky in a lot of ways as Kings fans.

  • Freezang


    Rich needs a raise. This is probably single handedly the best reporting hands down. Whether its sports or every day world news.

    Rich you do a fantastic job. I hope you never leave this job. I hope you do it for the next 200 years and make 5 million a year.

  • LVC

    Bourque??? I don’t think so… ORR is more like it…

    Sadly to say I first started watching hockey during Orr’s twilight years…but even then he was awe-ing everyone on the ice… I see a LOT of this in Doughty…and all he has to do is look up to see where the rest of his career takes him…

    Bourque is no slouch when it comes to being in an elite class of defensemen to be compared with…but I still believe that Orr would be the better comparison…

  • kenb

    Thanks Rich – great work!! Much appreciated.

  • Quisp

    There’s a joke to be made here about submitting DL answers to voice transcription software.

    Yes, probably most of you are too young to remember when Inside the Kings was a newsletter Rich typed up on mimeograph paper.

  • Winsomemore

    Thank You Dean Lombardi. Thank You Rich Hammond. Incredible interview. It’s published material like this that helps create a Hockey Culture in Los Angeles. Incredible.

  • Brent


    Thank you so much for your hard work and effort. This blog is truly a Kings fan’s dream. I can’t thank you enough. Reading these entries was certainly the best part of my day today.

  • Moondoggie

    Rich, if they don’t have a place set for you on the Hollywood Star Walk of Fame, we need to find you one, now. This interview with DL is your best work yet out a lot of great works you’ve already done. It was brilliant.

    I wholeheartly agree with Cynic…

    “Do they give out Pulitzers for blog work? If not, they should and if so, this one needs to be nominated”

    Not forgetting Doughty and the comparisons with Bourque, I think Anthony said it best….In a couple of years, you’ll hear his name in the same sentence with Bourque’s….

    Actually, it’s happening already.

  • Eric K

    Quisp: I’m assuming it’s something about said voice transcription software exploding and/or begging for mercy?

    Great job as usual, Rich.

  • Ziggy


    You just set the bar very high. I hope you give Lombardi a big thank you from all the Kings fans out there. I really never I would ever get this kind of access as a fan. You do a world class job, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see you turn a few heads in Canada with this kind of blogger-GM relationship! Go Kings Go!!! Let’s make the playoffs and show the rest of the league how to run a first class organization.

  • Anonymous

    There is only 1 Rich Hammond and he’s ours

  • AK47

    Nice interview Rich, it really shows us fans that we have a loyal and intelligent GM in Deano, unlike Dave Taylor, cough cough.

    Although, I sincerely wish you would’ve asked Dean on Trevor Lewis’ progression and where he hopes he’ll be playing next year?

    Maybe next time 🙂

    Aziz Khalil

  • Andrew

    Thanks Rich! I appreciate the time you spent on this interview for us fans, and the time you spend on this blog every day. I hope you know that we all appreciate it.

    It was great hearing Deano talk about his take on player development and how they fit in with the system. He really knows his stuff, and it says a lot about how the Kings will look in the future (and are starting to show now).

  • Anonymous

    Rich im glad we have a GM that actually makes your job interesting as well because it seems like he really cares about this team. Hes not just giving you two sentence answers, his mind is all over the place. I really like the part about the parents, I truly do think it reflects from the parent to the child and how the mature as a human. Great work Rich

  • wavesinair

    If you could have your choice Rich, which would you rather have:

    1) Follow and report on the current crop of Kings, or
    2) Follow and report on the early 90’s crop of Kings

    Keep in mind all things are equal. i.e. you would have a blog back then and be in the same position you are in now, etc.

    Thank you for the great interview.

  • Scott

    Would be great to know if he feels confident about Hickey making the jump next year.

    Rich, you have the Pulitzer. Without you, us Kings fans would be left in the lurch. The apathy shown by the L.A. media towards the team is dreadful, but really, you’re the only one we need.

  • Heavy_G

    I’ve been reading for a while now, and the output today was so good and so much fun to read that I finally had to comment.
    Thanks Rich. This blog is amazing. After wasting hours in the past (going to the TSN site, the Globe and Mail, CBC, Hockey’s Future, 4th Period, etc.) trying to find any news about the Kings – I must say that this has been a godsend.
    Thanks again.

  • Al

    Rich, thank you very, very much for your super hard work and please say thank you to Dean Lombardi for all of us here, that read the #1 Blog in Hockey bar none, for being so gracious to give you the time to answer our questions, he is an excellent GM, the best the Kings have EVER had. I will meet you one day soon at practice.

  • Luis

    I’m voting Rich Hammond as the NEW Governor of California.

    You are the man. If I see around town, I’m buying you a beer for the excellent work you do my friend.

  • Me

    You rock, Rich. This interview was like a romance novel. I couldn’t put it down…or stop checking the site for updates. You know what i mean.

  • mrbrett7

    Rich and Dean (if you read these).

    Thank you so much for this. I sincerely doubt there is another GM that is this forthcoming, and another blog owner who is this dedicated to it’s readers (same to you Jill).

    Thank you again for all that you do…I suppose my company should thank you as well for the many an hour lost reading this blog.

    It’s funny he brought up Bourque…the first time I saw Doughty play, that was the first name that came to my mind…although I think Doughty may be a better skater than Bourque was.

  • I join the standing ovation. This was a great interview and you are BY FAR the best reporter for the Kings.

    I just wish that there was some way to give you what you deserve for doing all this.

  • Isaac

    Rich, you could charge a subscription for this blog and I’m sure many of us would be happy to pay. As usual, fantastic work.

  • mark4kings

    This was hands down, the best interview I’ve ever read. Not just a hockey interview; any interview, for any sport. You asked exactly the correct questions, the correct way.
    Thank you so very much.
    Ditto to what Isaac said. I would have paid for this!

  • Seabass

    Kings fans are very fortunate to have a guy like you. Will you marry us?

  • Pat McGroyn

    Thank you to Dean Lombardi for his time and thoughtful answers. And thank you very much to Rich for this amazing interview session. I feel so lucky to be a Kings fan and have a journalist such as Rich providing this outstanding coverage for us. We don’t deserve this, but it certainly will never be taken for granted. Thanks again Rich!!!!

  • Matt Wilson

    This is the kind of in-depth, articulate, honest information that we readers are rarely exposed to. This kind of interview goes a long way for humanizing an organization. In the midst of the current culture of so much dishonesty in sports, this sort of work is exactly what the fans are clamoring for. Thank you so much for your hard work, and please pass on the sincere thanks to Dean Lombardi for his time.
    Thanks again.

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