Translating Dean Lombardi’s Trade Deadline Comments

Hammond recently gave us another C- interview, this time with Dean Lombardi. You may recall I hold a Doctorate in Lombardi Speak so I thought I would navigate us through.

I asked Lombardi whether the dynamics of the deadline will allow the Kings to significantly improve…

LOMBARDI: “As the season moves along, people have a better handle on which direction they want to go.

There are buyers and sellers

There’s two things that can happen. One, obviously, is a team just strictly downsizing, like we did five years ago, and just saying, `Let’s get picks.’

There are sellers who are rebuilding.

Secondly, you might have a philosophical change and just say, `It’s not a downsizing, per se, but we want a change to change the structure of our roster.’ So it’s not a rental, per se. It’s different.

There are sellers who are not rebuilding.

I think, as the deadline gets closer, it’s not about the deadline. It’s that more teams realize what they have or don’t have.

As the season wears on, teams figure out which one of the two sellers they are or whether they are buyers.

They take into consideration how many injuries they have, and say, `If we get guys back, we’re OK,’ or they say, `We’ve got to look at upgrading our back end.’ And the rentals are always going to be there.

The bubble teams either hold the course because they can navigate through it or they try to upgrade and find a rental. (Note here that the “back end” reference is just an example he uses. He could have spoken of any upgrade there)

“The question about the rentals is just the price. If you look back, and you take all the deadline deals — just look at them and line them up — you’ve got all kinds of juice on deadline day, but how many of them have really effected the team?

Whether a buying team goes for a rental depends on what they are giving up. Look at most rentals. Although there is a lot of action on deadline day, few acquisitions have been impact players in the short-term or long.

There’s this perception of all this juice and action, then you look at what really happens.

Fans and media think that teams are one player away, but rarely does it work that way.

Last year, arguably, we got one of the top players. How many players had average 25 goals? That was, `Wow, that was a big deal.’ In terms of the rentals, that’s always going to be there.

We thought we did great with Penner. And offensive players, to varying degrees, are generally there for the taking as rentals.

As a practical matter, we don’t have a second and a third (round draft picks). Manchester is still a very young team, but you always have to be cognizant that (new) guys are coming through.’’

But we also gave up picks. And this year, we don’t have a lot of picks to give for a rental. So, we look at Manchester and also ask ourselves whether we have players coming in next year that are going to fill the need we are considering filling with the rental.

(note that Dean really didn’t answer Rich’s question but Hammond doesn’t follow up on the initial question he asked. Why? Watch what Rich asks next.)

Question: So, as you look at it, it’s still a matter of finding the right fit?

(This question qualifies as a “I have no idea what you just said, so I am going to fall back on this ‘fit’ thing I have heard you talk about before until I figure out what to ask you next”)

LOMBARDI: “It’s being cognizant of knowing what we’ve got coming and knowing what we’ve got now.

If we are going to get a rental player, we have to be cautious depending on the rental’s contact, especially if we have that same style player coming up through the system.

It’s knowing who we’ve got coming and who is going to help this team next year, and making (a potential move) fit with that.

(Damn Rich’s parentheses)

If a rental replaces that player coming up with his contract and takes that coming player’s spot or stifles us cap wise, it won’t work.

With a rental, you can say, `I don’t care if it doesn’t fit with these kids that are coming,’ but with other (trades), it’s, `OK, let’s trend this way.’’’

(Well, there is that parentheses again from Hammond substituting his own words for that of the interviewee. If I take “trades” on face value, the last quote means)

That’s the difference between a rental player who is just here for this season and one with a contract you keep. If we are keeping the contract, then we have to look closely at the kids coming up from Manchester because it’s no longer just a rental, it’s a real trade.

Question: But how patient can you afford to be? What if the only real option is a player who doesn’t necessarily “fit’’ with other things?

LOMBARDI: “I don’t have a problem with that. But as far as what’s out there, it’s like I said. There are probably seven or eight out there, but out of them, the ones that will be there as rentals, one of them will probably hit. Those are usually the ones that go to a really good team and don’t have to carry the mail.’’

I don’t have a problem bringing in a short-term impact player that won’t necessarily fit in the long-term and who is a pure rental. But there are only 7 or 8 of those types of impact players out there and out of all of them who may be out there, you may only see 1 of them traded and that type of impact player typically goes to a top team in the league who is making a Cup run.

(This is Lombardi telling everyone that the Kings are not that team)

That is the end of the Lombardi Speak lesson.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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23 replies

  1. I don’t have a problem with that. But as far as what’s out there, it’s like I said. There are probably seven or eight out there, but out of them, the ones that will be there as rentals, one of them will probably hit. Those are usually the ones that go to a really good team and don’t have to carry the mail.

    You’ve seen the play of our team.

    You’ve seen it on billboards around Los Angeles and on ESPN.com and NHL.com.

    The Time is Now. A Stanley Cup Championship is our Focus. We want you to be a part of this exciting season!

    … All this is still on their website, by the way. I’m thinking they might wanna change that. It has to be easier than changing billboards, at least.

  2. So what you say Lombardi’s saying is, basically, expect no purchases by the deadline?

    Or expect no sales?

    Or expect no trades?

    Or why don’t you stick your mike up your ass, Hammond?

    • He is not going for a big rental according to this. He never said what he is going to do, just what he is not. Hammond didn’t actually ask him the most important question: “where are you leaning at this moment?”

      If he is going to make a big trade, then it can’t be redundant with what we have. I find that answer fascinating because it means he is putting more stock than most in our O coming up from M.

  3. Lombardis’ a Dick!

    Not because I disagree with him or anything, but because he can’t just answer the fucking question in a manner that needs no interpretation.

    Hammond should be forced to interview him with questions that only require yes or no answers, and if the answers go over 10 words, Hammond gets a tongue lashing for every word over 10 on his backside from Micheal Moore.

  4. You can convince me, but you can’t con Vince Lombardi. Dean Lombardi, however, is definitely able to be conned (see one S. Tambellini) and so was Hammond.

    Does Hammond not go into this interview knowing he will get two paragraphs of overly broad pontification on the general nature of what kinds of trades and trading partners exist? Why is he so easily satisfied with dithering, as if volume of response alone qualifies what is worthwhile?

    There was no sustance to the answers, and probably none should be expected, but we could at least expect some attempt at trying to narrow Lombardi down.

    The only type of trade I can see happening would be a defenseman for a forward. Otherwise, (1) we got nothing we want to give and (2) it would only create a hole to fill a hole, an idea that Lombardi has been quoted as being unwilling to do.

    I wish he would trade Bernier for a forward, but that seems unlikely as the contracts are just too good to have 3 mill for two very good goalies. (Quick awesome, Bernier good, average = very good).

    I would doubt that a quality top 6 forward would be available for prospects only, we have no picks, and an even swap of one under-performer for another is only a lateral move, anyway.

    I still think it should be Scuderi, and a prospect. But with the defense-first mentality, that will never happen. Meanwhile, Davis Drewiske sits, a roster spot is wasted, and even the coach is recognizing that offense starts with the outlet and speed thru center, which is not Scuderi’s forte notwithstanding the pass to Clifford last night. But even if we get the zone, get a cycle, and go low to high, Scuderi will dump it back down the boards.

    Scuderi never jumps past his man, or dekes to get a shot thru; he is a steady guy in our zone, has a great stick, but KILLS offensive zone play by dumping excellent shot opportunities back down the boards. I have said this before: it empties the scoring area of Kings, forces another 50/50 puck battle along the boards wasting energy in recovering the puck, and dilutes the attack process. Count how many times Scuderi ever gets the puck to the crease, or how many times he ever passes it to directly to a forward in the o-zone. He either dumps it back down or tries to shoot and it gets blocked. Two-trick pony. We need more.

    • X, why Scuderi???

      Greene’s shot is so weak, that everyone including the ice girls have no problem getting in front and blocking, and until this season, only about 1 every other game was on net.
      But he’s the only guy that make the opposition pay the price every night in our zone, not much return for him in a trade, more valuable to the Kings.

      Mitchell, Can we please inject him with Lidstrom or Chelios’s blood so we can resign him for 4 more years!!!!!!
      Who would of thought he would remain healthy ALL season, and at his age, would go from shut down guy to this hybrid power play / offensive rush style D-man. STUD!!!!!
      With an expiring contract, IS the highest valued rental on the Kings……to an East Coast contender, needing that veteran shut down style, Lombardi must be getting offers!!!! This may be a huge unpopular decision if he’s traded, but may have the largest payoff……

      Johnson & Doughty……Forget about all their defensive mistakes….You Mention Scuds shot & blueline prowess, and these 2 are relied on to Get shots through, Hold the puck in the zone, make smart as well as productive passes, and for all the cap space they take up, and without the factual numbers, I’d say each one is guilty of the same things you fault Scuds for 3 to 4 times over!!!!!! We overpaid for Scuds for everything else he brings, he’s a Warrior!!!

      Voynov & Martinez are the 2 D-men that DO get their shot’s through more than all the others, skate with & move the puck CONSISTANTLY…….they have the backseat right now to DD & JJ, but they don’t make the big bucks…YET….In my opinion are underated, and will not get us the return we want in a trade, but are on the verge of being NHL regulars.

      Lastly Drewiske…..nothing flashy, without any injuries to the ” D/3 ” he’s rode the pine….will be a Steal if we through him in any trade!!!! Moves the puck REALLY well, and may be one of the better outlet passers we have. Has the Highest Goal per game average of all our D-men right now……

      NOW the Manchester ( Hybrids )
      I call them hybrids because they sort of play that style, and could develope into a Offensive Mitchell, or a Defensive Martinez……
      Hickey, Muzzin & Deslaurier……Responsible, physical, offensive minded D-men…..are they worth more than Scuds in a trade…..NO WAY, are they more valuable to the Kings THIS SEASON…..NO WAY

      Accept Scuds……he’s not so bad

      • Let this season run its course and hold the cards. This off season looks very bright.

        Do not trade the picks (1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th) this year’s draft supposedly has a bumper crop of excellent prospects.

        Rather then Bernier or Martinez, offer Michell as part of a package if need be. But with Hunter, Penner, Stoll (and perhaps Gagne) off the books there is a lot can that can be done over the summer.

        • How many offseasons are we going to look forward to? I think rethinking the style of play with the pieces in it is in order. Did the brass really think losing simmer, zues and smyth in a system that relies heavily on net front presence would have little impact? It basically took us from a contender to a rebuilder.

        • I would still like to inject Mitchell with Lidstroms blood and see what happens……..

          The reality is that Mitchell has no value to a team selling, out of the playoff’s…..and would be devestating to our team, even for a big time sniper!!!

          Philly & Wash need a D-man desperately, but Mitchell does not have the Offensive upside they require, but have plenty of scoring to sacrifice….
          Teams like Florida, Tampa, Winnipeg & Ottawa must be coveting a guy like Mitchell for the stretch run as well as the playoff’s. All have offence a plenty….the best offers are probably coming from there

  5. Based on DLs previous deadline dealings and recent trades….I dont want him to do anything. Force him to ride out the season with the team he has assembled and let the chips fall where they may. If we happen to make a decent playoff run, he can boost about it and maybe buy more employment time. If we miss the playoffs and/or see another 1st rd exit; we make the move to make Hextall the next GM.

    • If we miss the playoffs and/or see another 1st rd exit; we make the move to make Hextall the next GM.

      … So, let’s replace Dean Lombardi with Dean Lombardi, Jr.? No, thank you. One Lombardi is enough.

      That makes about as much sense as replacing Terry Murray with Darryl Sutter.

  6. Since we are discussing trade dealine deals, this season and past, and what they do for our team, the price, the need & fit. We all may be more focused on Last years Pancake deal which on paper should have been an outstanding acquistion for the Kings, BUT has been one of MANY bad ones……
    I can Remember Ronning ( the King Killer ), Straka, & Carter. All these deals turned out to be very disappointing……..they sucked, and we lost out, Dean came in and we had to start the rebuild, WHY, we had depleted our stock of youth and picks…..so when we caught that dreaded injury ( Andy Murray ) bug, we were Fucked!!!!
    Dean has made a deadline deal every year, both to strengthen the future, and then to strengthen our chances….besides the Modin deal, none have panned out, instead they appear to have hurt us during and after the fact.
    The Deadline deal that stands out most to have hurt us is the Halpern trade!!!
    Rather than the Penner trade…..WHY????
    Even though Losing Tuebert may never hurt….losing our 1st rounder, which Edmonton used to draft Clefbom, may be the most painful long term wound we will endore. Clefbom was Swedens Lidstrom in this years Junior WC…..he singlehandedly shut down the More powerful young Russian offence to barely any shots or scoring chances, and was the best player on the ice for that championship game, and he was a major contributor to their offence AKA Lidstrom to Detriot……In my opinion he is the steal of last years draft, and our cross to bear in furture games against Edmonton. Losing our 3rd in this years draft, hurts from the standpoint of barganning right now, since it cost us our 2nd in the Richards trade and now our 1st rounder is untouchable!!!!
    So how could the Halpern trade be worse than this???
    WE make these deals to bring in playoff preformers…..We traded Purcell & a 3rd for the 4th line presence of Halpern in the playoff’s. Since…..Purcell has out preformed every LA King on our roster in the playoff’s…forget about last night’s game, his regular season total’s, or his brief stint with us playing left wing instead of right. We traded away what was to become a great playoff preformer who was also a 3rd round pick himself for a nothing guy like Halpern!!!
    The 3rd rounder is not salt…it’s fucking acid!!!!
    We’ve used our 3rd round picks to draft Guy’s like Weal, Andreoff & Purcell….
    So this brings me to Stoll…..GOD do we miss Handzus…Stoll has flat out sucked this season, and get’s over looked by the Doughnut’s & Pancakes on the Kings.
    But Stoll like Halpern still has that playoff depth down the middle that many teams are coveting. So maybe there is a Purcell & a 3rd for Stoll out there!!!!!!
    That deal is what we are after!!!!!!!!

  7. Sorry ….ooops Clefbom is Spelled Klefbom

  8. Among all the dancing, I believe Semin is going to be the guy Kings will acquire.

    Semin is the only “pure sniper” that is “one dimensional” and is not defensively responsible. From what I read in the Helene’ Elliot column yesterday and Mike Milbury who might not be the brightest bulb, but he clearly sees the inevitable as Lombardi is under a serious microscope.

    The fan base and AEG are no longer going to accept the “wait another year” excuse crap.

    Lombardi is being forced to get a sniper, and has to ignore anything else. I believe Washington needs a puck moving defenseman to replace Mike Greene, who is still suffering from post concussion symptoms.

    Semin for Hickey and maybe a Muzzin or Kozun and or some late round draft pick. Its a rental, and Hickey is not going to make the Kings roster with Voynov even Martinez in front of him, along with Doughty and Johnson.

    Manchester has nothing other than goaltenders and defensive prospects.The defensemen have paid their dues, and are attractive to teams which need help on the blueline.

    • I don’t see how Washington getting Hickey helps their puck moving D-man issues going into the playoff’s, even if Semin had Penner numbers, Hickey WILL probably help in the future but does not address the loss of Green…

      #1 reason……Hickey ( Paid his dues, Ready or not ) has 0 NHL games experience…..quite a risk!!!!!

      Johnson would be overpaying for a rental, so a 2nd round pick would have to be included, but I would insist on a 1st from Wash, since it will be a late rounder as well.
      If we throw in Stoll or Penner, they could throw in Ward or Chimera, but I like a 1st rounder better.

      Semin addresses the win now, rental may need a change of scenary, could sign him IF…….guy.
      WE have one pick in the first 3 rounds of this years draft right now……Washington has 2 first rounders, Kuznetzov’s ready for the big time!!! Galiev is close…..

      Johnson is Replaceable!!!!! I know he’s having a good season, and might be turning the corner as far as his development, but Marty can do as good, and Slava is playing better than Johnson did in his first season, so the ceiling is higher with him!!!!!!

    • Semin is a UFA who will not come cheap. I like him in an offseason pickup, but even WAS is talking about letting walk. Another Russian with a questionable work ethic, really?

  9. I appreciate the updates on Hammond’s site, but I cant help but see him as a puppet with Lombardi’s hand up Rich’s ass manipulating his movements and ventriloquizing Rich’s answers. They must be paying him (Rich) well to play the part of a Pravda / Tass mouthpiece. Or he lacks sack.

  10. If Detroit gets Parise we are royally fucked. Detroit has 24 mill available to them at the deadline and they are also leading the conference? What the hell am I doing a Kings fan???

  11. It’s time to trim some fat like Penner, Brown, Richardson, Stoll, Gagne, Hunter, Westgarth and Parse.
    We have some really good pieces to the puzzle but, we need to bring in some role players to do the dirty work in front of the net, finish checks, protect their teammates and still be able to score some goals.
    That is why Detroit wins and has alot of salary cap room.
    They are well managed and well coached.
    Now we need to be well managed.
    I love the drafting of Quick, Martinez, Voynov, Hickey, Zatkoff and Bernier.
    Trading for Richards was a great deal in the long term.
    Penner, Gagne, Hunter, Moreau (didn’t get a long enough shot in my opinion!) have been disasters!!
    Go get Selanne, Ryan and Fowler now for Doughty, Bernier and Penner!!!

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