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Frozen Royalty Audio With LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi – LISTEN

Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Dawn Mounce/DG Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — While the Los Angeles Kings held their annual HockeyFest event back on September 14, 2014, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen and I had the opportunity to sit down with President/General Manager Dean Lombardi in his new office for what turned out to be about a 15-minute interview.

That interview spawned a three-part series of stories here on Frozen Royalty that, hopefully, you’ve already read about Lombardi’s role in the Kings’s recent success. If you take him at his word, he had nothing to do with it. Of course, that could not be farther from the truth, so yours truly reviewed what his plan was when he first joined the franchise, and then examined how it all turned out.

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LA Kings: Stanley Cup Is A “Rock Star” That Everybody Has To Celebrate, 2014 Edition-Video, Photos

LA Kings video coordinator Bill Gurney (left), along with his wife, Tina (right), with the Stanley Cup at their Westminster, California home
on September 28, 2014.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

WESTMINSTER, CA — One of the great things about the Stanley Cup, perhaps the greatest thing, is that hockey’s version of the Holy Grail is shared. Players, coaches, trainers, equipment staff, team executives, owners—they all get to spend quality time with the Stanley Cup before the start of the next National Hockey League season.

What many may not be aware of is that many Stanley Cup-winning teams give some of their staff who fans never see or hear about their time with the Stanley Cup as well, and that includes the Los Angeles Kings.

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LA Kings: It May Not Be About Dean Lombardi Now, But At One Time, It Was

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: How much truth is there behind Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi’s claim that, “…it ain’t me,” when discussing his role in his team winning two Stanley Cup Championships in the last three seasons? One look at the Kings’ team culture, which extends well beyond the dressing room, and has become just as important as the talent level of the team, will provide much of the answer. Final installment of a three-part series.


LA Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, shown here addressing the crowd at their 2014 Stanley Cup Championship rally at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 16, 2014.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty..net

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — It didn’t take Dean Lombardi very long after his arrival in Southern California to lay out his plan for building the Los Angeles Kings into a perennial Stanley Cup contender. But what would probably surprise many, as reported in Part 2 of this series, acquiring high-end, skilled players was not at the top of the to-do list, even though that would have to happen at some point.

Instead, Lombardi stressed that his team would be built by drafting young players and taking the time to develop them—their skills and their character—in the minor leagues. He would build a team in which, as he said when he was hired on April 21, 2006, “…every one of them who puts on a Kings jersey, no matter where they go, feels ‘once a King, always a King.’”

As the Kings fought their way through the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, overcoming adversity became a common theme. Indeed, they had to claw and scratch their way back from a 3-0 series deficit in the opening round against San Jose to win that series, 4-3. They won three seven-game series in which they faced elimination, and they came back from two-goal deficits to win games time after time after time.

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A Look Back At Dean Lombardi’s Plan To Build The LA Kings Into A Perennial Stanley Cup Contender

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: Part 2 of a series looking at Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi and his role in the recent success of the team, even though he has said repeatedly, “…it ain’t me.” In this installment, we’ll look back at the plan he laid out for the Kings when he came on board in April 2006, something hardcore fans will likely remember, but just as many have probably forgotten, or never knew about in the first place.


LA Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi speaking to the media during the on-ice celebration after the Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 13, 2014.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After the Los Angeles Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship on June 13, 2014, their second Stanley Cup Championship in three seasons, I asked President/General Manager Dean Lombardi during the on-ice celebration at Staples Center in Los Angeles, “so what’s it like to have your plan come together so well?”

Lombardi looked at me for a brief moment and, as reported in the first installment in this series, he said, “Hey, I didn’t get my face plastered against the boards here at all. I feel like I have, but I didn’t. These guys are the ones who get it done. It ain’t me.”

Lombardi went on to credit his players, head coach Darryl Sutter and Kings majority owner Philip Anschutz as being the primary movers and shakers when it comes to who is primarily responsible for the Kings’ recent success.

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