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Dean Lombardi Says “It Ain’t Me.” But How Much Credit Does LA Kings GM Really Deserve For His Team’s Success?

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: Since the Los Angeles Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship, their second Stanley Cup win in three seasons, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has received a great deal of praise for his work to build the Kings into a championship team and a perennial Stanley Cup contender. But he claims that he is not responsible for that success. Rather, it’s the players, head coach, and ownership who should get all the credit.

In this multi-part series, Frozen Royalty will take a close look at Lombardi’s role in the Kings’ success, how much of his vision has become reality, and how true his statement, “…it ain’t me” really is.


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

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings having won two Stanley Cup Championships in the last three seasons, it is easy to forget that it was not so long ago when the franchise was teetering on the edge of becoming totally irrelevant in Southern California.

On April 21, 2006, Kings Vice President, Communications and Broadcasting Mike Altieri opened a press conference at what was then the HealthSouth Training Center (now the Toyota Sports Center) in El Segundo, California by saying that the team was about to “…embark on a new era of Kings hockey in Los Angeles.”

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LA Kings Honor Their Past: Retired Trainer Pete Demers Gets Stanley Cup Ring

Retired LA Kings head athletic trainer Pete Demers received a 2012 Stanley Cup Ring from
the team last week.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — With National Hockey League teams opening rookie camps this week, and with training camps opening next week, the 2013-14 NHL season is just about upon us, and our focus will, of course, quickly turn to the teams and their players.

But before Frozen Royalty begins its coverage of the 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings, starting with Friday’s media day during their Rookie Camp (players are expected to be on the ice at 10:00 AM today at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California), there is one bit of news left from their 2011-12 Stanley Cup Championship to catch up on.

As many are aware, former Kings greats Marcel Dionne and Rogie Vachon each received a Stanley Cup ring from the team during the opening day festivities on January 19, 2013, at Staples Center.

As reported in this space last February, Dionne said that receiving the ring was, “…the closing chapter in my hockey life.”

Vachon said that, “…I had absolutely no idea, no clue, that it was coming. It was just incredible.”

Another Kings alumnus had to wait just a bit longer for his Stanley Cup ring, one who worked 2,632 consecutive games over 34 seasons with the Kings (37 years with the franchise), and was as deserving as anyone.

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There’s A Silver Lining In LA Kings’ Failed Defense Of 2012 Stanley Cup Championship

“Sometimes you have to lose again to remember how hard it was to win.”
LA Kings right wing Justin Williams
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — More than one week has passed since the Los Angeles Kings were bounced out of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Chicago Blackhawks, who took the Kings out in a rather decisive five games in the Western Conference Final.

Since that time, the Stanley Cup Final has begun, with the Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins tied, with one win each, heading into Game 3 in Boston (tonight, 5:00 PM PDT; televised on NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS). Meanwhile, Kings players are already into the summer routine, many having already left Southern California for home.

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NHL’s Instigator Rule, Shot Blocking and The White House Are All On The Minds of the LA Kings

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Includes exclusive video of interviews with Colin Fraser, Jarret Stoll and head coach Darryl Sutter.


Can Darryl Sutter make a smooth transition from head coach of the
Los Angeles Kings to Washington lobbyist?
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — One day after their 4-3 loss at San Jose, a game in which defensive lapses and turnovers proved too costly, the Los Angeles Kings, who are in the midst of a 17-games-in-31-days stretch this month, held an optional skate.

Most of the players took the opportunity to practice, but several key players, including Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Rob Scuderi, Jarret Stoll, and Slava Voynov used the time to rest and recover.

After practice, the big hit by San Jose Sharks center Andrew Desjardins on Kings center Colin Fraser early in the second period at San Jose, along with the response by Kings rookie defenseman Jake Muzzin, was the main topic of discussion.

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