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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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2014-15 Los Angeles Kings: “Make The Playoffs First”

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, shown here during their
2014 training camp on September 19, 2014, at the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — If you ask National Hockey League players, they will usually tell you that each season, their goal is to win the Stanley Cup.

But during the first day on the ice at the Los Angeles Kings 2014 training camp, that was not the case at all.

“Make the playoffs first,” said head coach Darryl Sutter. “That’s the first significant step.”

To be sure, that formula has worked for the Kings in two out of the last three seasons.

In 2011-12, the Kings qualified for the playoffs by the skins of their teeth as the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference.

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Dustin Brown’s Work On The Ice and Off During 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Proves His Worth As LA Kings Captain

2014 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP WRAP-UP: Part 2 of Frozen Royalty’s wrap-up of the Los Angeles Kings winning the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship, and the ensuing celebration.


LA Kings forward and captain Dustin Brown, shown here addressing the crowd at Staples Center in Los Angeles during
the team’s 2014 Stanley Cup Championship Rally.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — As mentioned in Part 1 of this wrap-up of the Los Angeles Kings winning the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship on June 13, followed by their official Stanley Cup parade in Downtown Los Angeles and a rally at Staples Center after that, the Kings were celebrating and expressing their gratitude to those who helped them reach hockey’s highest of heights, especially the fans. But they were also busy sending carefully crafted messages to everyone in the hockey world.

One of the loudest messages, delivered not long after the players hoisted the Stanley Cup, was that winger and captain Dustin Brown had silenced his critics once again.

During the on-ice celebration, Brown hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second time in his National Hockey League career, becoming the first United States-born captain to hoist the Cup more than once.

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View From The Ice After LA Kings Win 2014 Stanley Cup Championship – Photos

LA Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell and members of his family pose for a photo with the Stanley Cup after the Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 13, 2014.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

 

LOS ANGELES — After the Los Angeles Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship on June 13, and after the players had skated with hockey’s Holy Grail, Frozen Royalty was on the ice to speak with the players, President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, and others.

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