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Dean Lombardi On Fixing The Los Angeles Kings

from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi already was making moves in early June to put programs in place to educate his players after Slava Voynov's domestic violence incident and Jarret Stoll's drug-related arrest in Las Vegas.

That wasn't going to be enough.

Mike Richards was arrested at the Canadian border later that month and eventually charged with possession of Oxycodone. This third blow devastated Lombardi, who once regarded Richards as the Kings' version of baseball's Derek Jeter, a heart and soul winner.

"So that hurts, particularly with a player like Michael in terms of the Jeter factor. You don't get over that right away," Lombardi said. "I don't know if I'll ever get over it, quite frankly.

"And then you question your own judgment. Then I just dived in. I said, 'OK, we're going to fix this. How do I do it?' "

Lombardi spoke with Kings' beat reporters shortly before the Kings' game against the Arizona Coyotes in the preseason Tuesday at Staples Center.

There were many aspects about the Richards case he could not discuss. Richards is facing a Dec. 8 court date in Emerson, Canada. The Kings terminated his contract and the NHL Players Assn. has challenged that action, filing a grievance. A date for the grievance hearing has not been scheduled.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dean+lombardi

Comments

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A bit durned presumptuous for Lombardi to equate Richards to Derek Jeter - Not in the same ballpark. Hellz, not even in the same zip code, fer pete’s sake.

Jeter’s reputation for personal conduct has always been sterling - Immaculate.

Richards…Not so much (Dry Island, anyone?)

Posted by icehound on 09/23/15 at 07:53 AM ET

Avatar

Jeter’s reputation for personal conduct has always been sterling - Immaculate.

Richards…Not so much (Dry Island, anyone?)

I guess that’s why he didn’t, at all, in any way, compare their reputations for personal conduct.

Posted by Garth on 09/23/15 at 08:17 AM ET

Mistercristo's avatar

If someone needs to “put programs in place to educate his players” that abusing hard drugs and beating women it’s frowned upon, that begs two questions: what kind of people are you employing that they need to be lectured like toddlers about “right” and “wrong”, and why have you - as a General Manager - failed to instill a culture of professionalism and respect?  Don’t forget, the Kings are a “model franchise”.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it, quite frankly [especially if the NHL forces me to reinstate Mike’s horrid contract]”

The above may or may not be the actual quote in it’s entirety.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the Kings; thanks to their two cups, Chicago has at least one less, and I’ve always had a soft spot for Dionne and Luc.  However, it seems that lately, the organization is stumbling around in a cow pasture, and Lombardi keeps putting that foot in his mouth.

To wit: a Jeter-Richards comparison?  Has anyone ever tested Lombardi for drugs?

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 09/23/15 at 12:33 PM ET

pautna's avatar

Let’s not forget Mike Richards was a champion at almost every level of hockey he played, including wining gold (and sliver) at the World Junior Championships, a Memorial Cup, a Calder Cup, an Olympic gold medal and two Stanley Cups. In my opinion, Mike is easily in the same category as Jeter relative to his sport. He was a proven “heart and soul winner”, which was Lombardi’s point.

Posted by pautna on 09/24/15 at 12:57 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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