Apparently, a Stanley Cup victory is a gift that keeps giving. The Kings, in the wake of their first championship after 45 years of mostly indifferent play in the NHL, gave contract extensions Friday to general manager Dean Lombardi and coach Darryl Sutter. Lombardi’s new deal is for four more seasons and Sutter’s is for three additional years.
“Darryl gave me a (phrase) that’s on my board there,” Lombardi said, referring to his office in the Kings’ El Segundo training facility. “He said, ‘Dean, you’ve got a good dose of constructive paranoia.’ And the definition is you’re never satisfied, you’re always worrying about everything.
“So, trust me, that part hasn’t changed. I’ll still be pacing around.”
In other words, don’t expect the Kings to be satisfied with one title. Lombardi, Sutter and the rest of the organization aren’t content with one parade around Staples Center with the Cup held high. They want more, starting with their lockout-delayed season opener today against Chicago.
“You can never be satisfied,” Lombardi said. “Once you win, you want to win again.”
Or as Lombardi said team captain Dustin Brown told him in a conversation a few days ago, “(When) we lost in the few round (of the playoffs) the last couple of years, it didn’t bother me. Now that I know what it’s like to to win, if we don’t win again, I’m going to be (angry).”
With the team’s roster set for the next few seasons and with the management and coaching staffs intact for several more with the announcement of extensions for Lombardi and Sutter, it would seem the Kings’ window for additional championship runs is wide open.
“The GM is only as good as his players,” Lombardi said. “I really have to thank my players. Generals manage, soldiers win. They’re the ones who got it done. A longtime general manager told me, ‘Never forget, you’re only as good as your players.’”
Sutter also credited the Kings players, dodging questions about his extension.