December 14, 2009 1 Comment
January 6, 2009 36 Comments
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – PART 3: Frozen Royalty is back with Part 3 from an exclusive interview with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi. In this, the third and final installment, Lombardi discusses the Kings’ player development and evaluation infrastructure and the progress made in his rebuilding plan. And in case you missed parts one and two, you can read them here. Part 1: Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi Excited About Defense and Part 2: Lombardi Talks About Goaltending, Top Defenseman Prospects.
LOS ANGELES — For long-time fans of the Los Angeles Kings, the wait has been interminable.
Aside from one run to the Stanley Cup Finals led by Wayne Gretzky in 1992-93, the Kings have been a big disappointment, qualifying for the playoffs just twenty-two times in their forty-plus seasons in the National Hockey League but advancing past the second round just once.
To be sure, that is a rather dismal record filled with mediocrity.
A big reason for that long history of mostly lousy hockey has been their propensity for trading away first round draft picks for way-over-the-hill NHL stars who gave the Kings next to nothing. Meanwhile, the traded away draft picks were used to select future NHL stars such as defenseman Raymond Bourque, to name just one out of way too many who went on to lead their teams to great success, including a number of Stanley Cup championships. Read more of this post
January 2, 2009 19 Comments
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – PART 2: After taking New Year’s Day off, Frozen Royalty is back with more from an exclusive interview with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi. In this installment, Lombardi focuses on his team’s future in goal and two of his top defenseman prospects. Check back on Tuesday, January 6 for Part 3 of this series and if you missed Part 1, check out Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi Excited About Defense.
LOS ANGELES — Throughout the over forty-year history of the Los Angeles Kings, goaltending has arguably been their biggest Achilles Heel.
The only Kings goaltender who could be considered to be in the truly elite category was Rogie Vachon, who backstopped the Kings from 1971-72 to 1977-78, winning many games all by himself while playing on mostly horrid teams. Indeed, Vachon was so good that it is a heinous crime that he still has not been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Sure, the Kings got stretches of solid goaltending from the likes of Mario Lessard, Kelly Hrudey and for a little more than one season, Felix Potvin. But outside of that, Kings goaltenders have been mediocre at best, and they often fell far short of that mark.
Much to the dismay of the Kings and their fans, in recent seasons, their goaltending woes have continued, but that might be changing sooner rather than later. Read more of this post