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Dean Lombardi’s Team

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The real hero, even if he’ll never take credit, is indeed Lombardi, who took over the Kings in 2006 and completely rebuilt the team. This was his vision coming to fruition.

“It’s hard to describe, it’s one of those things I don’t think you’ll describe until about a week later,” Lombardi said. “These players, I’ve said this all along, they really are a great bunch of guys. I just love the way they dealt with adversity this year, I’m so proud of them. They stuck together when everybody had them down. They just keep persevering. They’re just a bunch of role models as far as I’m concerned. I’m proud of them.”

Two months ago, Lombardi might have very well lost his job had his Kings not made the playoffs. They made it in by a hair, sliding in as eighth seeds. All along, however, was the belief he held that the pieces he had put together could contend for a championship.

Oh, but there have been doubters.

When he traded for Mike Richards last summer and gave up the likes of Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds, eyebrows were raised. When he hired his old Sharks buddy, Darryl Sutter, to take over behind the bench in December, he was mocked in some corners. And when he pulled the trigger on a blockbuster for Jeff Carter in February, few people thought that was the missing piece.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

YzermanZetterberg's avatar

Congrats to the Kings organ-I-zation and its fans.

When Rob Scuderi signed in LA, I wonder what kind of odds you could have gotten in Vegas that he would win a second Cup before Sidney Crosby?  smile

Posted by YzermanZetterberg on 06/12/12 at 10:41 AM ET

Avatar

What a pile of crap.  Lombardi ‘crafted’ a team that barely made the playoffs, and didn’t draft the goalie who went white-hot and carried them to the Cup or their best forward.

He was a glorified passenger.

Articles like this wildly understate the random nature of playoff success in a capped NHL.

Good for LA, they deserved the Cup.  Next year it will be another 1/16 chance for each team, and the one with the best combination of goaltending and depth scoring will win.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/12/12 at 11:03 AM ET

Keyser S.'s avatar

Next year it will be another 1/16 chance for each team, and the one with the best combination of goaltending and depth scoring will win.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/12/12 at 10:03 AM ET

And who get hot at the right time. Next year I predict 4 points will separate the 1st seed with the 10th seed.  cheese

Posted by Keyser S. on 06/12/12 at 11:34 AM ET

Avatar

Hockeyin HD has it exactly right: Lombardi was a hanger on who got lucky he didn’t get fired this season.  The guy is a joke of a GM: he iand his arrogance are the sole reason for Doughty’s hold out, and he is the reason Johnson wanted out of L.A (after the GM ran his mouth on the press).  He didn’t draft Kopitar or Brown (Dave Taylor did), fell into Doughty by chance and was dead set on trading half the team to get Kovalchuk who proved to be pretty much worthless in the finals.  Thank god he failed at that too.  Fell into Quick by accident when he is responsible for the signing of Clutz Cloutier to an outrageous contract.  Had the Kings not gotten lucky with Quick (who saw that coming? Certanly not Lombardi) they would have been stuck with the over rated Jonathan Bernier who has proven repeatedly that he will just never be a starter in this league, despite the hype.  And in a last ditch effort to save his hide, he fired the coach hoping to get a spark.  He got lucky, lucky as hell and then barely squeaked into the playoffs.  If you want to give credit, it goes to Sutter who actually allowed his forwards to play a little offense, unlike he predecessor. 

The Kings players earned this cup, Lombardi had nothing to do with it.

Posted by sean_o_sean on 06/13/12 at 02:32 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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