LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi: “You Can’t Re-Create, You Have To Re-Invent”

LOMBARDI: Update on Darryl Sutter contract negotiations included.

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/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — The local media requested time with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi about two weeks ago, but after initially acknowledging the request, there was nothing but silence from the Kings communications staff until the evening of May 5, when we were told that he would be available the next morning for a media conference call.

So why the long wait? As it turns out, the Kings are in deep, philosophical thought about all aspects of the team and hockey operations.

“I haven’t been avoiding you,” Lombardi began. “So if I give you a little preamble without going into particulars, after we got over the punch in the gut, I think we had to re-evaluate everything.”

“I think the theme of the last couple weeks—it started with the amateur scouts, and I’ll make it very simple,” Lombardi continued. “I think we talked about this after we had won the first Cup, and remember, I had told you I had talked to a number of people. Despite what a lot of those people told me, they also warned me that you’re not going to understand it, probably until you go through it.”

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Grandpa’s Advice Helps Michael Mersch Lead Ontario To Game 1 Win Over San Diego

LA Kings left wing prospect Michael Mersch helped lead the AHL’s Ontario Reign to a 5-3 win over the San Diego Gulls in Game 1 of their second
round playoff series on May 5, 2016, at Citizens Business
Bank Arena in Ontario, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Michael Mersch scored two goals to lead the Ontario Reign to a 5-3 victory over the San Diego Gulls in Game 1 of their second round American Hockey League playoff series at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario on May 5.

Mersch opened the scoring at 10:26 of the first period, batting the puck past Gulls goalie Matt Hackett from the bottom of the left circle.

Reign defenseman Vincent LoVerde scored on the power play at 14:37 of the first period, converting a back door play off a pass from Kings center prospect Nic Dowd, who was behind the left goal post.

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LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks Minor League Teams Face-Off In AHL Playoffs

LA Kings center prospect Nic Dowd is expected to be an impact player in the Ontario Reign’s
second round playoff matchup against the San Diego Gulls.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — They say rivalries can’t be true until teams meet in the playoffs, but whoever “they” happens to be must not have seen the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign and San Diego Gulls go at each other in their first season as divisional rivals this year.

The Reign and the Gulls have only met twelve times, and were affiliates in separate locations in prior seasons, but the rivalry is very strong between the pair of prospect-building affiliates, the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, respectively, of the National Hockey League.

“It’s a fun rivalry, especially with what the Kings and Ducks created,” Ontario forward Sean Backman said in video interviews with Reign public relations staff. “The Gulls and the Reign, we’re not too fond of each other, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

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LA Kings Anze Kopitar: “It Only Comes Down To Winning Or Not.”

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On April 22, the Los Angeles Kings gathered at their practice facility where they met with the local media, lamenting their first round playoff loss to the San Jose Sharks, who eliminated them in five games.

Even worse, although the scores were close in all but Game 5, there were long stretches in the other games where the Sharks dominated, at times, making the Kings look like they didn’t belong.

“Teams in this league are pretty good,” said center Anze Kopitar. “You can’t just think that you’re going to come in and just roll over everybody. I think San Jose was a good example. They just flat out played better hockey than we did. They got timely goals on their power play and we weren’t as sharp as we wanted to be on the penalty-kill and on the power play. That’s what usually makes the difference.”

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Lecavalier Confirms Retirement Again, Lucic Really Wants To Stay With LA Kings

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Several Los Angeles Kings players spoke with the local media on April 24, just a couple of days after they were bounced from the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs by the San Jose Sharks in five games.

Among those who spoke to the media was one player who was leaving the Kings and another who wants to stick around.

As he has said since his arrival in Los Angeles back in January, veteran center Vincent Lecavalier confirmed once again that he would retire now that the Kings’ season is over.

“It’s definitely still the plan,” he insisted. “I haven’t really thought about it the last couple of days. People are texting me, but I haven’t really thought about it. Yeah, it’s the same plan as when I first got here a few months ago.”

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