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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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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 Assistant GM Rob Blake Talks About First Year On The Job, Upcoming Jersey Retirement

Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Rob Blake was named as
the team’s assistant general manager on July 17, 2013.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — A little more than one year ago, the Los Angeles Kings brought former superstar defenseman Rob Blake back into the fold, naming him as their assistant general manager on July 17, 2013, replacing Ron Hextall, who returned to the Philadelphia Flyers as their assistant general manager (he was soon elevated to the general manager’s position on May 7, 2014).

Upon hiring Blake, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi indicated that, like anyone new to the job, Blake would be eased into his new position.

But almost 13 months have passed since Blake was brought on board. How have things gone so far in his new job?

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