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A Look Back At Dean Lombardi’s Plan To Build The LA Kings Into A Perennial Stanley Cup Contender

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: Part 2 of a series looking at Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi and his role in the recent success of the team, even though he has said repeatedly, “…it ain’t me.” In this installment, we’ll look back at the plan he laid out for the Kings when he came on board in April 2006, something hardcore fans will likely remember, but just as many have probably forgotten, or never knew about in the first place.


LA Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi speaking to the media during the on-ice celebration after the Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 13, 2014.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After the Los Angeles Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship on June 13, 2014, their second Stanley Cup Championship in three seasons, I asked President/General Manager Dean Lombardi during the on-ice celebration at Staples Center in Los Angeles, “so what’s it like to have your plan come together so well?”

Lombardi looked at me for a brief moment and, as reported in the first installment in this series, he said, “Hey, I didn’t get my face plastered against the boards here at all. I feel like I have, but I didn’t. These guys are the ones who get it done. It ain’t me.”

Lombardi went on to credit his players, head coach Darryl Sutter and Kings majority owner Philip Anschutz as being the primary movers and shakers when it comes to who is primarily responsible for the Kings’ recent success.

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Dean Lombardi Says “It Ain’t Me.” But How Much Credit Does LA Kings GM Really Deserve For His Team’s Success?

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: Since the Los Angeles Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship, their second Stanley Cup win in three seasons, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has received a great deal of praise for his work to build the Kings into a championship team and a perennial Stanley Cup contender. But he claims that he is not responsible for that success. Rather, it’s the players, head coach, and ownership who should get all the credit.

In this multi-part series, Frozen Royalty will take a close look at Lombardi’s role in the Kings’ success, how much of his vision has become reality, and how true his statement, “…it ain’t me” really is.


Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Dawn Mounce/DG Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings having won two Stanley Cup Championships in the last three seasons, it is easy to forget that it was not so long ago when the franchise was teetering on the edge of becoming totally irrelevant in Southern California.

On April 21, 2006, Kings Vice President, Communications and Broadcasting Mike Altieri opened a press conference at what was then the HealthSouth Training Center (now the Toyota Sports Center) in El Segundo, California by saying that the team was about to “…embark on a new era of Kings hockey in Los Angeles.”

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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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