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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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LA Kings 2014 Training Camp: Day 2 – The Hunger To Win It All Again, Or Just To Redeem Oneself

Center Mike Richards spoke to the media on Day 2 of the
Los Angeles Kings 2014 training camp on September 20, 2014,
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With defenseman Drew Doughty still a no-show on the ice at the Los Angeles Kings 2014 training camp due to an upper body injury and with players and coaches refusing to comment on the status of Kyle Clifford (wrist), Jonathan Quick (wrist), and Jarret Stoll (hip), who are all recovering from off-season surgery, the story lines for Day 2 of the Kings training camp sounded a lot like they did for Day 1.

However, some new tidbits surfaced, including a commitment each player made before they all went their separate ways for the summer.

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Frozen Royalty Audio: LA Kings 2014 Training Camp – Day 2 Interviews

Defenseman Alec Martinez spoke to the media on Day 2 the Los Angeles Kings 2014 training camp on September 20, 2014,
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Day 2 of the Los Angeles Kings 2014 training camp has come and gone with very similar story lines compared to Day 1 on September 19.

On both days, players touched on their goals for the season and about the chance they have to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions.

But on Day 2, Alec Martinez and Justin Williams talked about the hunger the Kings have to win it again this season. Another player, one who struggled mightily last season, center Mike Richards, is probably even hungrier, given that he is seeking redemption after a poor 2013-14 season.

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LA Kings Justin Williams: “Just Win” and “Puck Luck Is For Cop-Outs”

LA Kings right wing Justin Williams
(click above to view larger image
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings had a long night after their 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final in New York on June 11.

Indeed, the Kings headed to John F. Kennedy International Airport right after the game, boarding their charter for the nearly 5 1/2-hour, coast-to-coast flight back to Los Angeles.

“[The flight] was fine. Had a good Chilean Sea Bass,” said center Jarret Stoll, eliciting laughter from the media. “It was good. Food was great. Really good catering last night. Got a good three hours of sleep.”

The Kings eat quite well on their charter flights. But rest is often an entirely different matter, and as Stoll indicated, they did not get much sleep on the plane, and probably not much more that morning, given their 3:36 AM PDT arrival at Los Angeles International Airport. As such, it was surprising to see that some players chose to skate on Thursday afternoon, despite the lack of rest.

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