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Trying To Keep Marian Gaborik In LA

from Arden Zwelling of Sportsnte,

“With Marian, there’s a little bit of Teemu Selanne there. Selanne, when he finally won [a Stanley Cup]—he went to another level,” Lombardi said. “When you experience something like this, you realize sometimes there’s things more important than stats. So we’re certainly hoping he stays.”

What Lombardi is referring to as being more important than stats is Gaborik’s personality off the ice, where he’s been able to fit in seamlessly with the Kings roster, even living with Carter for a spell when he first came to Los Angeles. Lombardi knows it’s hard to find players who fit in so well so quickly, which is something he places value in.

But in order to keep Gaborik, he may have to say goodbye to Richards, and let go of a player he thinks is also an integral part of that organizational makeup. That decision won’t be easy. But it never is.

“One thing that you learn from the last Cup is, you have to prepare for July 1 in a hurry,” Lombardi said. “Because we know Phoenix is gonna be back. San Jose and Anaheim are great teams. Obviously, there’s Chicago and St. Louis. It’s a war in this conference.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Comments

SYF's avatar

But in order to keep Gaborik, he may have to say goodbye to Richards, and let go of a player he thinks is also an integral part of that organizational makeup. That decision won’t be easy. But it never is.

I’ll never forget how shocking it was that the Wings let go of Mike Vernon after winning the Cup in ‘97.

And that was in the free spending days.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 06/19/14 at 10:12 AM ET

Avatar

I see a couple things potentially happening here: Lombardi has said that he wants to keep Richards, which, if he wants to sign Gaborik (even at a discounted salary), means that the Kings cannot sign both Greene and Mitchell. One of both of them are not likely signed. I think it really depends on whether Gaborik is looking for a home for the next 3 years or is looking for a big pay-day, which he would likely get as an UFA. If he takes a discount on a team that (1) he knows will be a contender and (2) he knows he fits well with, that gives Lombardi a little bit more flexibility trying to keep Richards and (maybe) Greene or Mitchell, definitely not both.

Posted by scooter on 06/19/14 at 12:32 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

^^ I would almost assume that Greene is gone, unless Mitchell really plays hard on term length. Greene is slower than molasses, can’t handle the puck and takes bad penalties every couple of games it seems.

Of course, next year is not the real issue salary wise, it’s 2015, when we have more UFAs & RFAs to sign. Too bad compliance buyouts end this year, otherwise we could probably ride things out for another year. 

Tough call ahead, that’s for sure.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 06/19/14 at 03:28 PM 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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