Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/19/14 at 10:01 AM ET
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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