Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/23/14 at 09:15 AM ET
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
This team has stayed largely intact for five or six years, led by a core that has grown up together and lifted the Stanley Cup together but now must consider the possibility it will be broken up in order to fix the weaknesses that led to this stunning playoff deficit.
General Manager Dean Lombardi carefully lifted this team out of the rubble of failure and away from the negative influences of a losing culture, nurturing a group he assembled by emphasizing scouting and deliberate player development. He was rewarded with a team that formed a strong bond and exhibited good, self-policing chemistry.
Key players Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty and Voynov were the product of drafting and development. So were role players Trevor Lewis, Dwight King, and, more recently, Jake Muzzin. Using draft picks and new assets, Lombardi traded for Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. Later, he added Robyn Regehr. Willie Mitchell was a smart free-agent signing.
But while it's great that they get along and sacrifice for each other, their struggles against the Sharks suggest this mix needs some stirring and new ingredients.
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