Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi Excited About Defense

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: As we end 2008 and ring in the New Year, I sat down with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi to talk about his team, their progress in their rebuilding plan and much more. Part 2 is coming soon right here on Frozen Royalty.


LOS ANGELES — As the Los Angeles Kings near the midpoint of the 2008-09 season, they continue to surprise many because they have managed to avoid the bottom of the league standings and are still in contention for a playoff spot. After ending the 2007-08 season tied in points with the last-in-the-league standings Tampa Bay Lightning, that is a considerable improvement.

Of course, with just slightly more than half the schedule remaining and with a torturous road schedule ahead of them—27 of their final 39 games will be on the road—the Kings could still find themselves plummeting in the standings as their road record this season has not been good. Nevertheless, this team has already shown growth and progress over last season, and their future looks even brighter at this point in time than conventional wisdom would seem to dictate. Read more of this post

Kings Take Advantage of Undisciplined Ducks

LOS ANGELES — Southern California’s National Hockey League teams are both off to slow starts this season. The two teams met at Staples Center on Tuesday night and obviously, something had to give.

The Stanley Cup-contending but underachieving Anaheim Ducks have looked like anything but a contender in the very young 2008-09 season, while the young, inexperienced Los Angeles Kings have met expectations with their 0-2 start.

But when the ice chips finally settled late Tuesday night, it was the Kings who broke through with their first win of the season, a 6-3 trouncing over the undisciplined Ducks, in front of a relatively sparse crowd of 14,451 fans. Read more of this post

2008-09 Los Angeles Kings: Defense and Goaltending Will Be Key

SEASON PREVIEW: A comprehensive, detailed look at what might be for the 2008-09 Los Angeles Kings.

LOS ANGELES — Immediately upon being hired by the Los Angeles Kings as their new head coach on July 17, 2008, Terry Murray clearly stated that the top priority for his new team would be improving their defensive play, noting that the 2007-08 Kings gave up several boatloads of quality scoring chances and goals.

This new mandate could not have been made more clear on the first day of the Kings’ 2008-09 training camp. Indeed, when the players took to the ice for the first time, they saw five dots, a bit smaller than the face-off dots, painted on the ice in the slot, representing the “home plate” area Murray wants his players to focus on in terms of their defensive positioning.

Indeed, the Kings were atrocious in their own zone for the vast majority of the 2007-08 season and their goaltending was not much better. These two areas will certainly be keys to the success or failure of the 2008-09 Kings, who will have several young players, some of them rookies, in their lineup, raising serious doubt on the Kings’ ability to improve significantly upon their tied-for-last-place-in-the-league finish in 2007-08. Read more of this post

LA Kings Dean Lombardi Answers His Critics

The following is the first in a series about Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, his rebuilding plan and how it is being received by fans.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — The 2008 off-season has been a relatively quiet one for the Los Angeles Kings. To be sure, outside of the 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft in June in which they selected, according to most pundits and hockey media outlets, one of the strongest draft classes, the Kings have been virtually silent in terms of free agent signings and trades.

Indeed, the Kings have a defensive corps that has just three veteran players in Tom Preissing, Denis Gauthier and Matt Greene, with the rest being very young players, including Jack Johnson and Peter Harrold. Add to that the fact that the number six and seven spots could be filled from a crop of young prospects, including Drew Doughty and Thomas Hickey, and it becomes clear that experience is not going to be the strong suit of the Kings’ defensive unit in the coming season.

Clearly, unless the Kings can add another veteran defenseman to that mix—they are definitely in the market—they will be awfully inexperienced, not to mention that while some have a boatload of potential, none of the blue liners currently in the lineup jump out at you as being top-notch defensemen on a team that gave up goals in bunches last season.

The fact that the Kings do not have what many would consider to be an NHL-caliber blue line corps at present is among the many reasons Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has had to don a flak jacket and helmet while trying to dodge heavy incoming fire from a very vocal segment of fans who are absolutely livid about the current state of the franchise, and that would be putting it mildly. Read more of this post

Free Agency Week Wrap-Up

EL SEGUNDO, CA — While many of the National Hockey League teams were signing unrestricted free agents starting on July 1, the Los Angeles Kings parted ways with two of their veteran defensemen, one being traded away while the other bolted for greener pastures.

On June 29, just three days before the unrestricted free agent signing period began, the Kings sent defenseman Lubomir Visnovskyto the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for center Jarret Stoll and defenseman Matt Greene. Read more of this post

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