L.A. Kings general manager Dean Lombardi talks about re-signing Tyler Toffoli, and what’s next

Here’s more from Kings general manager Dean Lombardi, who talked at some length Friday afternoon about giving forward Tyler Toffoli a two-season, $6.5-million contract extension and how it enabled him to also trade for physical forward Milan Lucic, and what’s next on his summer to-do list:

“I have to say our first priority, in terms of signing now, is (signing Anze) Kopitar (to an extension). The other thing I’d say, that shows this team cares about winning, is what Tyler Toffoli did. It shows how everything ties together. With the threat of offer sheets and everything out there, the way he handled the situation was exemplary.

“This is a top young player. He could wait for an offer sheet (from another team). He could demand millions in a long-term deal. We talked to him, and it’s certainly a fair deal but it’s still a good deal for him, but in no way did he hold anybody hostage. If Tyler Toffoli doesn’t step up and do this, we can’t do this (Lucic) deal.

“Then we would have exposed ourselves to an offer sheet. It’s just exemplary for a young player, to realize his time will come and take a good deal, but not try to shoot for the moon. So the team is allowed to go out and make itself better. Once this (trade) got rolling, it was not doable without Tyler signing. If we had done this without Tyler signing, we were exposed to an offer sheet. It’s a great example of guys caring about the right things. They’ll get their money when the time comes.”

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Kings GM Dean Lombardi explains decision to trade for Milan Lucic

Kings general manager Dean Lombardi agreed with the conventional wisdom in fandom, but he also explained the team’s trade Friday afternoon with the Boston Bruins for physical forward Milan Lucic this way, “This deal, we gave up quite a bit, but I was very clear I would not give up that unless it was not only the player, but a fit. Is it the loss of the other player (Justin Williams)? Yeah, but that’s not what drives it. This isn’t done unless it’s that type of player (Lucic).”

Lombardi all but acknowledged the departure of Williams as an unrestricted free agent next week.

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Emotional Milan Lucic sad to leave Boston Bruins, but excited to join L.A. Kings

Milan Lucic had this to say Friday about leaving the Boston Bruins and joining the Kings, “I think that’s the most exciting thing, I’m moving to a team that already knows how to win. The possibility of playing with (Anze) Kopitar and (Marian) Gaborik is an exciting feeling. I get to be a part of a great organization.”

Boston general manager Don Sweeney told reporters at the NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla., that it was a tough call to Lucic to inform him of the deal. When told of Sweeney’s comments, Lucic said, “My emotions were there, too.”

 

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Kings acquire rugged forward Milan Lucic from the Bruins

The Kings traded their first-round pick in Friday’s draft, plus backup goaltender Martin Jones and a prospect to the Boston Bruins in exchange for physical forward Milan Lucic. The move continues the Kings’ commitment to big, rugged forwards but goes against the grain as the rest of a league moves toward faster and smaller lineups. Lucic is 6-foot-3, 235 pounds. He scored 18 goals and 44 points to go with 81 penalty minutes in 81 games last season with the Bruins.

Check back later for updates.

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Brad Richardson signs with the Canucks

The Kings learned free-agent center Brad Richardson signed a two-season, $2.3-million contract Friday with the Vancouver Canucks. Richardson recorded one goal and five assists in only 16 games last season, sitting out all but two of the first 34 contests. He’s likely to be slotted into a fourth-line role with the Canucks. Richardson played 255 games over five seasons with the Kings, but had only 24 goals and 41 assists.

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Kings sign former Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz to a one-year deal

The Kings signed free-agent defenseman Jeff Schultz to a one-season deal worth $700,000 on Friday, a move made necessary by the departure of defenseman Rob Scuderi. Schultz, 27, fell out of favor with the Washington Capitals last season, playing only 26 games in the lockout-shortened 48-game season. He asked for a trade in April and the Capitals bought him out of his contract and he became an unrestricted free agent. Schultz, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound native of Calgary, had only three assists last season.

 

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Analysis of Kings draft

Here’s what Sports Illustrated had to say, with a letter grade at the end:

“With no first-round pick in their pocket, the Kings had to trade up to grab Valentin Zykov (37) in the second. He plays a Kings’ game: heavy on the puck, strong, aggressive and enough touch to lead all QMJHL rookies in scoring. RW Hudson Fasching (118) had a higher profile early in the season, but he never quite found his scoring touch.He has the size to play the power forward game, but needs to start showing some finish if he hopes to advance. C

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Kings draft picks

In case you didn’t bother to sit through all 24 hours (OK, so it was more like seven) of the NHL Draft on Sunday, here are the Kings selections:

First round: Traded pick No. 27 to Columbus in Jeff Carter deal Feb. 23, 2012.

Second round: Valentin Zykov, left wing, Baie-Comeau (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League), 37th overall. (The Kings traded second-, third- and fourth-round picks to Edmonton to move up to 37th to get Zykov)

Fourth round: Justin Auger, right wing, Guelph (Ontario Hockey League), 103rd.

Fourth round: Hudson Fasching, right wing, U.S. National Development Program, 118th.
(The Kings expect Fasching to play at the University of Minnesota)

Fifth round: Patrik Bartosak, goaltender, Red Deer (Western Hockey League), 146th.

Fifth round: Jonny Brodzinski, center, St. Cloud State (Minn.), 148th.

Sixth round: Zachary Leslie, defenseman, Guelph (OHL), 178th.

Seventh round: Dominik Kubalik, left wing, Sudbury (OHL), 191st.

Seventh round: Traded pick No. 208 to New Jersey on Sunday for a seventh-round pick in 2015.

All things considered it was a pretty dull day. Don’t expect to see any of these guys playing in the NHL soon, although there’s a certainly a chance for Zykov to make an impression at training camp in September.

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Kings trade three picks, move up and select left wing Valentin Zykov

The Kings dealt their first three picks in the NHL Draft on Sunday afternoon to the Edmonton Oilers to move up to No. 37 and select Russian left wing Valentin Zykov of Baie-Comeau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the second round. Edmonton received picks in the second (57th), third (88th) and fourth rounds (96th).

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Greatest late-round pick in the Kings’ history: left wing Luc Robitaille

NHL teams had 170 chances to select left wing Luc Robitaille in the 1984 draft. The Kings passed on him eight times before taking him in the ninth round (171st overall), which probably makes Robitaille the greatest late-round pick in league history. He went on to become the all-time leading scorer in NHL history for a left wing. Oh by the way, the Kings’ fourth-round selection in 1984? Tom Glavine, a center whose career path took him in a different. Glavine became an All-Star pitcher for the Atlanta Braves.

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