Playoffs are an “expectation”?

Dean Lombardi’s “letter” to fans this morning including an interesting quote about the Kings making the playoffs next season:

“I want to assure you that all of our end-of-season discussions with our players involved a clear message and understanding that next season carries an expectation that we will be playing playoff hockey.”

I wonder — and will ask, at the next extensive interview — how Lombardi reconciles that quote with the answers he gave on April 11 about making the playoffs…

Question: So let’s say we’re sitting here a year from now. You didn’t find that `piece’ you were looking for and the Kings have finished, let’s say, 10th in the West. What would that mean to you?

LOMBARDI: “I would look at it as, `Did we get better?’ and `Are we positioned to get better?”’

Question: So you don’t think this team absolutely has to make the playoffs next year?

LOMBARDI: “What is it, `You have to make the playoffs next year to save your job’? Well, if that’s the way you’re going to operate, how many teams have lost their way, and lost their plan?”

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