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Like His Players, LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Deflects Credit For 2014 Stanley Cup Championship

2014 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP WRAP-UP: Part 3 of Frozen Royalty’s wrap-up of the Los Angeles Kings winning the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship and the ensuing celebration


LA Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, 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 — During the on-ice celebration after the Los Angeles Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship on June 13 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, and during their celebratory rally on June 16, also at Staples Center, different members of the organization expressed their gratitude and appreciation for each other and for their fans. But they all had carefully crafted messages for the hockey world.

For President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, the message was that the Kings have climbed to the top of the mountain named “National Hockey League,” and that their unity and resolve would keep them on top, or very close to it, for the foreseeable future.

As reported in this space on June 11, Lombardi stressed the importance of building a team with strong character and leadership traits, right from the start of his tenure with the Kings in April 2006.

That part of his master plan has now paid off in a big, big way.

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Leiweke Out, Beckerman In: How Is Change At The Top of AEG Impacting The LA Kings?

Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi spoke exclusively with Frozen Royalty about how the change at top of the Anschutz Entertainment Group has impacted the team.
Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images
and the Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — On March 14, 2013, the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the international real estate, retail, and entertainment conglomerate that owns the Los Angeles Kings, dropped a bombshell when they announced that they were no longer up for sale.

But what many considered to be a bombshell with an even greater payload was a part of that same announcement: that Tim Leiweke, the President and Chief Executive Officer of AEG since 1996, would be, “…leaving the company by mutual agreement.”

That Leiweke left AEG amicably is highly unlikely, but that is for another story. In any event, prior to his departure, he had been the front man, the face, the pitch man—he was AEG, as far as so many were concerned, especially since Philip Anschutz has been extremely reclusive while at the top of his AEG empire.

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Maybe It’s Time To Trust LA Kings’ Tim Leiweke, AEG

LA Kings CEO and Governor Tim Leiweke, shown
here addressing the media at a press conference
on January 10, 2013, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Since Philip Anschutz became the majority owner of the Los Angeles Kings back in October 1995, the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the entertainment conglomerate-portion of Anschutz’ empire that the Kings now fall under, has been viewed by a large swath of fans with disdain, deep-seated mistrust, and even blatant hatred.

In fact, so vehement was the distrust that it might have made people wonder if the face of AEG, Kings Chief Executive Officer and Governor Tim Leiweke, wears body armor.

Some of the distrust was rooted in the Kings’ long history of mediocrity, or worse, not to mention trade and amateur draft histories that, except for a handful of notable exceptions, were so riddled with huge blunders that they could be the punch line for many jokes.

But AEG also generated a great deal of distrust on their own. Indeed, they could not hide the fact that the Kings were used to get their foot in the door in Downtown Los Angeles, securing prime real estate on the cheap so they could build Staples Center, and later, LA Live.

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Los Angeles Kings Expected To Be Major Player For Ilya Kovalchuk

LOS ANGELES — With unrestricted free agency looming just a little over 24 hours from the time of this writing, it is no secret that the big prize in this year’s free agency frenzy is superstar left wing Ilya Kovalchuk.

Kovalchuk has averaged more than a point per game throughout his National Hockey League career, which began in the 2001-02 season after he was selected first overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers.

That first season, the 6-2. 225-pound native of Tver, Russia scored 29 goals and added 22 assists for 51 points in 65 regular season games.

After scoring 38 goals and contributing 29 assists for 67 points in 81 games the next season, Kovalchuk’s NHL career really took off, as he scored at least 41 goals in each of the next six seasons, including 52 goals in the 2005-06 and 2007-08 seasons. Read more of this post

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