Reading Dean Lombardi’s Mind On The Rick Nash Offers

Dean Lombardi doesn’t want to change the defense and the “backend”. He just wants to add offense. “But to trade for Rick Nash, he has to gut the backend, right?” He doesn’t see it that way. Let me explain Lombardi’s thought process:

The most recent word is the following package is in play for Rick Nash – Jonathan Bernier, Jack Johnson, Andrei Loktionov & “more.” Break it down:

1. Jonathan Bernier is a talent. He has all the potential in the world to be a star goalie in the NHL. But Dean Lombardi would tell you he already has one of those in Jonathan Quick and he has waiting in the wings one of Martin Jones, Jeff Zatkoff & Christopher Gibson. Dean is not going to rely yet on one of those kids to take the number 2 spot. He will trade for that or Curtis Sanford will come the other way. Regardless, he looks at Jonathan Bernier as a hole he can fill before the trade deadline while the younger goalies develop and ultimately one of them slips into the number two spot. If one of them does not, a back up goalie is easier to find than a starter.

2. Jack Johnson. I love JJ. Have not been shy about saying so. But, once again, Lombardi’s mentality points to the fillable hole. If Jack Johnson leaves, that leaves us with Doughty, Voynov, Mitchell, Scuderi, Greene and Martinez with Thomas Hickey, Nic Deslauriers and others on the outside looking in. I am not saying I agree with it but that is the mentality.

3. Andrei Loktionov: Where are the Kings deep? Goaltending, defense and center. What is Loktionov? A center. His departure would have little impact on the present scoring situation because Andrei Loktionov is presently not scoring. He also cannot crack the top 6 because (a) he has not been effective in a very short test study at wing and (b) Kopitar and Richards have the 1 and 2 spots locked up. There is also Jarret Stoll and players like Brad Richardson and Trevor Lewis who Dean, in his mind, believes can fill that role in the present time. “I am not going to miss out on an elite winger over a third line center” may be exactly what Dean Lombardi is thinking.

4. “More”: This wil be interesting and may be the deal maker or breaker. What “more” does Columbus want if they were happy with the above 3 players? Picks. They need to rebuild and thus need 1st and 2nd round draft picks. We know how much Lombardi likes his 1st round picks (before Dustin Penner that is) so he can pick up that defenseman we don’t need or the bottom six center we already have – will Dean Lombardi part with a 1st and 2nd or perhaps even a couple of 1st rounders in a deal like this? That is a tough sell and it’s ironic the picks may be the reason this deal does not happen – the “picks” for a player we have not drafted, have not seen and may or may not amount to much of anything.

There are arguments both ways on a trade like this. I do think it comes down to the “more” factor. If I am Howson, I stand pat. I get this as close as possible to the trade deadline and unless an offer gives me an orgasm, I don’t move Nash. That is why Dean Lombardi is both in a bidding war and negotiating from a position of weakness (read: “need”). Good negotiators know that and make sure they don’t get their ass handed to them.

As a bonus, let’s look at the L.A. Kings lines if Bernier, Johnson, Loktionov and a 1st go the other way. These are my lines. Yours may vary. Remember that Nash can play left or right wing.

Penner-Kopitar-Nash (the triple towers line)

Clifford-Richards-Williams (brawn-brains-beauty line)

Nolan-Stoll-Brown (Brown is not a top 6 forward on a Cup contender line)

Richardson-Fraser-Lewis (crash boom bang line)

(extras: Westgarth and King)





Backup (I weep for Jonathan Bernier)

p.s. As of 4:30 PST today (February 20, 2012), Bob McKenzie considers the Kings the favorite to land Rick Nash. Seems to be a growing consensus.

p.p.s. When will Rich Hammond drop the term “Insider” from his title? While everyone in the hockey world is talking about Rick Nash and the L.A. Kings and as reports are coming out about specifically what the L.A. Kings have offered in exchange, where is Hammond? A quote, anything from Lombardi? Anything from Hextall? Even a “we’re in discussion but not at liberty to talk further?” Insider, eh? Rich Hammond’s new nickname is “paycheck.” We will substitute it with “mushroom” as the mood strikes.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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68 replies

  1. i guess kings arnt on nash’s list.

  2. I’m all for that trade. I’ve been wanting to trade JJ for the past couple seasons. Plus we got Voynov to take over for him.

    I’m also tired of Hammond. The rest of the hockey world seems to have more inside info that our own “Insider.”

  3. Yeah loktionov is expendable and I’d rather give up the first than a good roster player as that 1st may not amount to shit. It’s a gamble there.

    Also would rather move voynov than JJ as I’m sure most would agree and maybe they’d take him over JJ if there was an extra pick to make up the difference. Gotta take into consideration the development time that Jack has. We could fill the hole but it would suck as he’s really making strides in his game

    • JJ has been way better this season, but Voynov has been just as good if not better for the most part, and He’s only played a handful of games.

      • Agreed but is it just the freshman juice? Will he fall off next year? As much upside as Voynov has, and he definitely has the offensive part going, he won’t be the kind of Dman JJ is that can really throw his weight around.
        I think there is a bit of a trade off.

        Since defensemen take so long to mature and JJ is finally starting to look pretty stable it would be a tough pill to swallow dealing him.

        There also the fact that he has the tattoo, signed a good deal and seems to want to be here.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m down to do whats best for the team, even if that means trading him, I just hope they can pull it off with JJ being a last resort piece.

    • I’d rather trade JJ than VV since JJ will fetch more in a trade, his salary is higher, and he’s already had a few years of development. VV is a rookie who has pretty much shown himself just as capable as JJ, is cheap, and is still developing and improving.

      If the two are nearly equal, you’d rather trade the one with low trade value (due to his limited exposure to other teams), cheap contract and untapped potential?

      JJ has had 6 years to develop and learn how to play good defense and still has glaring mental breakdowns (recently, his two lost coverages against Santorelli and that other guy with the backdoor tap-in). He still makes too many bad giveaways in his own zone as well.

      • I hear you Bob hes still got a ways to go and burns the odd biscuit but while Voynov’s offensive game is comparable, JMFJ is built like a linebacker and can really throw his weight around. Voynov has to rely more on fundamentals than brute force.

        So I hope they can pull it off without JJ by adding another
        player or prospect/pick to make up the difference.

  4. Can somebody explain to me how the Kings rosters shakes out next year with the contracts of DD, Kopi and Nash onboard?

  5. Jeff Deslauriers is a goaltender for the Anaheim Ducks. -slap-

    I think you mean Nicolas Deslauriers. :)

  6. Also If we are gonna give up Bernier, JJ and maybe the 1st we should get Carter in the deal as well. Thats a lot to give up for Nash so if we toss in a few other players we should try to get Carter too. Definitely Penner and some other prospects or Lewis or Richardson.

  7. I can’t remember if you’ve already mentioned it, but I would be curious to know what other people would offer the CBJ for Nash BESIDES Bernier, JJ, Loki, etc.

    Personally, I could careless about trading Bernier as Quick has proven himself our #1. Might as well give B a chance to actually play somewhere else. I’d really hope that we don’t pick up Sanford and instead we just bring up another kid from Manchester.

    I would really really really really rather we not trade JJ. Having him and Doughty is an incredible defensive core, but he might be the biggest name that we can part with that CBJ will also accept in return. I’d rather trade half of the team and our #1 pick than JJ, but I can understand CBJ’s need to get a ‘name’ player in return for Nash. I can’t imagine the CBJ fans accepting anything less.

    Like probably most people on here, I’d hate to see Loki go, but we have to trade some talent in order to get some in return.

    If there was any possible way that we could get them to take Penner or Stoll, even if just to get them off our payroll, I’d probably go out and buy a CBJ jersey and start cheering for them just for being good sports.

    What about Stoll, Penner, Bernier and our #1 for Nash? That would be a hard sell to the fans in CBJ, but it wouldn’t be stealing them blind, and actually they may ultimately end up on the winning end of the deal in about 4 years. But for us, we’d get the talent we need NOW and we have all the pieces to replace them in Manchester. Thoughts?

    • Your last proposal? Howson would be lynched.

      • Yeah, he probably would because the fans would be upset But it wouldn’t actually be a bad trade. If both Penner and Stoll did what they were expected to do when we spent the farm and traded for them, then right there CBJ would be close to breaking even. And then you have Bernier who will one day be a #1 goalie and a damn good one and hell, look how far a team like Calgary (or the Kings) can go with nothing but good goaltending! And a #1 pick?! That’s really not that bad of a trade on paper, though you are right, it would be a hard sell to the fans…

    • I am with you on tossing Penner in, even just to be rid of him. I hope that us moving Stoll back to center um “realigns” his shot.(not anti-stoll, just hoping its a bad year for him and he improves… for a lower price of course)

  8. So on the one hand, I agree that we need to trade from positions we are deep for whatever needs the team needs to fill. That was surely the intent when Lombardi drafted so deep at defense and goal tending. What I don’t like is how were now in this position whereby we will likely overspend to fill a need. We should have been trading some of these assets during the last off season or two.

    It’s also a bit frustrating to watch JJ progress each season, sign a reasonable contract, and then get dealt.

    And last, I think i’d like to see Lombardi grab both Nash AND carter at this point and maybe maximize the return on what will surely be an overpayment.

  9. Nash-Kopitar-Brown (Crushers)
    Gagne-Richards-Williams (Dancers)
    Penner/Richardson-Stoll-Richardson/Lewis (Corks)
    Penner/Nolan-Fraser-Lewis/Richardson (Recharge)

    Brown led the Kings in goals last year. Goals. Brown. Brown was 2nd in shots taken to Kopitar.
    Brown lead the Kings in shooting percentage among full-time players. Part-timers with better shooting percentages were Marco Sturm (17 games), Loktionov (19 games), Parse (5 games)and Handzus, who scored 12 goals and was a minus 5.

    Brown was a plus 17. Brown did this while known to be the leading scorer, in other words he was taken as a top 3 player and was the marked man (qualcomp).

    With this lineup above, he settles in with Kopi and Nash, enjoying the same successful pairing with Kopi and adding Nash as another threat. He may not be a top 3 player on his own, but Kopi and Brown create a top line combo. To have this guy as the third best player on a top line is a scary thought. Either Nash or Brown can play LW or RW; imagine trying to match up against that line, you need two stoppers on D. I drool at the thought of these three on a rush up-ice, crossing over…

    Gagne is still on this roster, and if you can put in Rick Nash as if it were real, then I can have Gagne come back. This is a line I wanted all damn year. (Penner-Kopi-Brown, Gagne-Richards-Williams.) Matching skill-sets, with a puck retriever in Williams, a stick-handler in Gagne, an X factor passer/shooter in Richards. Second Line like this? Come on, it’s beastly.

    Penner goes where he belongs, as a checker with a rare offensive threat. Stoll does what he does best, wins faceoffs and hounds guys on the backcheck. Right wing depends on who’s previous game was better.

    4th line looks like a 4th line. It should. Won’t hurt you too bad in limited minutes, lotsa speed, some size, easily good enough to give other lines some rest.

    • I am with you on Brown, love the guy, dont care if he has the C or not, what line he is on, but I believe he is a King and needs to stay one.

      I do like that we have some homegrown talent, and hope we can lock in some of them to be a one team guy.

      Dunno why everyone is so anti-brown. We do have worse around and some even root and want to keep what is worse points ant stat wise.

      I know to each his own, but I think Brown is a keeper.

  10. All points me and my buddies discuss in our little quarrels. But no doubt, deano needs to stand tall as well and not give up too much for Nash. I’m also in hopes, since you mentioned being in a “need” position, carter can be gained at a discounted rate, due to his lack of desire to be Columbus. Hoping deano has this as “plan b”

    • Dl’s plan B’s bug me. I dont think its why we lost Zeus, but him going after Brad Richards so hard (kobe video? WTF!?) lead to us losing some guys, BUT he did get us Mike Richards, though at the cost of Simmonds and Schenn.

      I do miss Zeus and Simms. Sadly now their Jerseys just collect dust in my closet.

  11. Does this deal even work under the cap? I think Nash’s salary is too high. I am still not convinced that Nash wants to come to LA.

  12. Lombardi should skip it unless he really, really really really really wants Nash. The cost will be even higher if a bidding war starts in the off season.

    Howson should hold on to Nash until the off season for the same reason stated above.

    Just hate to see Loktionov go when the 3rd line has finally started to develop an identity and emerge as a puck possession line. Break up the 3rd line and the Kings lose 2-0 rather then 1-0

    • Hey, why are you seemingly the only person on this site who agrees with me?? Here are two points of many I could make.
      OK, send off JJ and that leaves us w Matt Greene as our only really physical dman. Great. As it IS, they could use another physical damn.

      He got rid (understandably) of Zus and Simmer, and guess what> there was a big price to pay in the way the team has functioned. So you gain more weight (symbolic) up front, and lose it on the back end…. plus I still think that Jack has a big upside.

      Second…. the sheer fact that Lombardi is dealing from a huge position of weakness. It’s never ever a good position to be dealing from and I don’t like what’s behind the trade. On the surface, to increase scoring. Behind the surface to please management and possibly save his job.

      I’d prefer to see some real courage and balls from DL by saying, this is coming at a huge asking price and I’d rather be patient, no matter how upset the fans are…. and wait till the summer at which time we will address this need in one form or another without paying thru the nose.

      Voila. Basta. But that’s a pipedream I’m sure.

      • As I got it figured DL has to go big now or go smart in the off season. Lately he hasn’t been too smart (or lucky) in the trade and acquisitions markets. So, that leaves the “go big” option. Shit.

        And, I have no doubt AEG is breathing down Lombardi’s neck, for in their eyes the Kings reflect upon their ability to manage a football stadium and franchise.

        With out diving into the well traveled positives and negatives of Carter and Nash, I would rather not gut the core or lose our #1 pick this year. I’d like to see a smart off season with a fresh coach and staff.

  13. Do you guys think Nash can solve our scoring woes? I believe even with Nash we’ll have the same scoring struggles.

    • Getting a player like Nash or carter could open the ice up a bit for others. Kings are too easy to shutdown. Shutdown kopitar, brown, Richards, Williams and you win, but I’m still not a fan of trading the farm for either of them.

  14. What kind of Kings tattoo does JJ have? Do any photos exist?

  15. First off I don’t really agree with the need to call out Rich Hammond. Rich is who he is and I am sure he would tell us as much as he could if he could. He does give us good complete “inside” info on the day to day goings on with the team. It is not logical to expect them to allow him to throw out red meat info on trade negotiations and ideas, as noted we are already negotiating from extreme weakness so why expose ourselves any more than needed.

    On the trade – WE HAVE TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!

    We have lost out on one super star after another and as you pointed out in great detail these assets can be lost without much negative effect. I love Jack Mother Fucking Johnson and it would kill me to see him go, but seeing Nash fly down the wing taking a pass from my favorite player Mike Richards (who has had to play with empty jerseys all season) would ease the pain in a big way. I would even be open to a straight up trade of Doubty for Nash. I know DD has a lot of possible potential, but I feel he is over hyped, over paid and replaceable.

    Our offense needs a shot in the ass and who better to do it than the big man Rick Nash. I think he is one of maybe 6 or 7 players in the world that could single handedly change the dynamic of our team we love so much.

    PLEASE make this happen DL, I beg you!

    I am so tired of feeling sick to my stomach.

    • I agree on the DD assesment. He has a lot of “possible” potential but i think he is “over hyped” as you said. Wouldnt bother me to see him get traded.

  16. I have .. for a long time now, wondered why Dean, Luc, Tim, … ANYONE hasn’t thrown Hammond a bone and gave him just one “inside” lead to justify the title.


  17. Guys, guys, Hammond is the epitome of a Kings’ insider. People in Dean’s inner circle have to keep their mouths shut because Dean holds ’em close to the vest. So Rich’s title as ‘The LA Kings Insider’ is fulfilled. His title isn’t ‘LA Kings Inside Reporter’ if that were his title we’d have something to complain about. But no, he’s just an insider, which has nothing to do with telling us shit he’s of which he is on the inside.

  18. I’ll say it one more time…. DD and Bernier and Penner for Nash and Mason/Sanford. Keep JJ and VV, keep the pick. Leaves us cap space to sign Quick, which will be an issue if you are looking at the cap.

    The only reason to move DD is the size of his contract. We can’t have everything we want.

    • Dude….. I’m not being mean so don’t take it that way Please…. but I’m happy you aren’t the GM :-)
      Doughty…. you evidently didn’t follow the Kings when they traded Larry Murphy. + Bernier?

      Sigh…….. sorry. I hope you don’t feel offended. But that just plain doesn’t make a lick of sense.

  19. Nash Kopi Brown
    Carter Richards Williams
    Nolan Stoll Cliffy
    Lewis Fraser King/Westgarth

    DD Mitchell
    Scuds Voynov
    Martinez Greene


    Trade away Bernier, JJ, Loktionov, Penner, Richardson + a pick.

  20. Clifford-Richards-Williams (brawn-brains-beauty line)

    Nolan-Stoll-Brown (Brown is not a top 6 forward on a Cup contender line)

    … Huh? What??? Brown isn’t a top six forward on a Cup contender?

    Brown and Richards have nearly identical scoring numbers this season. Richards has 68 goals over the last three seasons, Brown has 65. Is Richards not a top six forward on a Cup contender?

    Actually, the guy you have on your second line, Clifford, is not a top six forward on a Cup contender.

    Come on, Bobby. A little attention to detail, here?

    • This is a matter of personal preference for me and I see both sides of it. I don’t care for Dustin’s game in the top 6. Richards can play the third line center position as well. In fact, he did in Philly if I recall the season before he was traded and his numbers suffered as a result. The two seasons before that when he played top 6, he had 30 or more goals. He is the prototypical second line center. Smart playmaker with an edge. Brown and his average hands but great checking ability fits nicely as scoring depth along with players like minded. Stoll and Nolan fit that bill.

      • I don’t care for Dustin’s game in the top 6.

        … You’re just underrating him. Every team in the NHL would have Dustin Brown in the top six. Every single one.

        If the Kings had three other wingers who produced like Brown has, they would win the Stanley Cup.

        I can’t believe you’d pull Brown off of the top six in favor of Clifford. That’s crazy talk. Clifford shows promise, and he should be playing more often, but on the third line with a power play shift here and there.

        Richards can play the third line center position as well. In fact, he did in Philly if I recall the season before he was traded and his numbers suffered as a result.

        … No, dude. Richards was second in ice time among Philly forwards last season, to Giroux.

        Giroux: 19:23 per game
        Richards: 18:52 per game

        Shorthanded, Richards and Giroux saw nearly identical time per game.

        Richards: 2:08
        Giroux: 2:06

        On the power play, it was Giroux, Richards, and Carter seeing nearly identical time.

        Giroux: 3:04
        Richards: 2:56
        Carter: 2:56

        If anything, Richards was used as a first-line player. His drop in scoring was due to an injury or whatever, maybe a bruised ego or something, maybe he was too busy complaining that non-white players were acting disrespectfully, who knows. But it wasn’t because of lack of opportunity or lack of talent around him. He played a ton with Giroux and he played a ton with Carter.

        • Hmm. I recall different. Where is our resident Philly fan, Deidre?

        • Brown (and Kopitar really) is just a “weird player” for lack of a better term. It seems like it is hard to play with him, or hard to develop chemistry with Brown. Never the less, he is a top 6 forward.

        • P.S. – You have a twitter or something JT?

        • Fuck me to tears, I agree with everything J.T. Dutch just said.

          Brown not top 6? Guess you missed this above:

          Brown led the Kings in goals last year. Goals. Brown.

          Brown was 2nd in shots taken to Kopitar.

          Brown lead the Kings in shooting percentage among full-time players. Part-timers with better shooting percentages were Marco Sturm (17 games), Loktionov (19 games), Parse (5 games)and Handzus, who scored 12 goals and was a minus 5.

          Brown was a plus 17. Brown did this while known to be the leading scorer, in other words he was taken as a top 3 player and was the marked man.

          Brown would settle in with Kopi and Nash, enjoying the same successful pairing with Kopi and adding Nash as another threat. He may not be a top 3 player on his own, but Kopi and Brown create a top line combo. To have this guy as the third best player on a top line is a scary thought. Either Nash or Brown can play LW or RW; imagine trying to match up against that line, you need two stoppers on D. I drool at the thought of these three on a rush up-ice, crossing over as they enter the zone…

        • He also played a ton with Asham and Nodl I believe. He did get used differently last year. I remember every Flyer fan saying that. Not that he didn’t get ice time, just that he was used 5-in-5 more as a shutdown player with Brierre and Giroux seeing the more favorable matchups for scoring. That doesn’t mean he didn’t get Pp and PK time and still get thrown out there to score at times. Just that with the emergence of Giroux, Richards role on the team became more defensively thrusted than offensively.

          Same way Zus was a third line center here but saw a shit ton of minutes anyways. Third line center doesn’t always mean third most in minutes among centers. 3rd line often just means shutdown, which depending on the coach can garner you a tin of minutes if you are getting thrown out there against the other team’s top line, and has nothing to do with special teams time. This is something those annoying Corsi stats are good for, the qualcomp ones, since those are a semi decent gauge of what a player’s role in the team is than mere ice time per game, which is as most stats are, myopic and do not factor in how a coach used you, only that he did or didn’t use you.

  21. Hammond is “above” the rumor mill, don’t you know? If you want reliable rumors just ask Jim Fox, he’s way more forth coming than the hypertensive Hammond. Heck, if Fox could reach up to Hammonds keyboard that site would be flooded with juicy confirmations…unfortunately, he has a balancing issue standing on Hammonds task chair and typing at the same time…something about a bum knee he said.

  22. Bobby, are you finally okay with trading Jack Johnson if it lands Nash in LA?




    • Your lines, as usual, suck but yes, I have made peace with it…although it would STILL make Lombardi a HUGE hypocrite.

      • Bobby, i agree. I used to view JJ as a dick. A guy who didn’t want to play with Doughty, over inflated ego,..while Doughty was happy-go-lucky, wanted to be a King, etc. But it seems like the exact opposite happened when each signed their respective contracts.

  23. I think we all tend to get carried away with labeling “top 6” player or “bottom 6” players. I think those terms are subjective from team to team. On this team, Dustin Brown is a “top 6” player. Would he be if he played in Pittsburgh? Maybe, maybe not. The point is, he doesn’t play for any other team, he plays for the Kings. I believe your skill justifies what line you play on, but your heart, work ethic and performance dictate whether or not you stay there. That is why, even though I see why you would skate Penner on the top line, I wouldn’t put him there due to what i perceive as a lack of effort for stretches of games, multiple times this season.

    As far as the trade goes, while I would much rather see Dean Lombardi stand pat than chase a blockbuster deal, depending on what exactly the “more” was, I would be inclined to do that deal, say if it was JJ, Bernier, Loktionov and 1 first round pick. I might be convinced to add a third round pick to the deal, but not an additional first or a second.

    Either way you slice it, bringing in Nash is going to get the Kings fleeced, and just like Mr. Scribe said, to what degree depends on what the “more” is.

  24. I have come to consider “lakingsinsider” the pravda of the NHL. I also really like Deslauriers. JJ would hurt, but there is Muzzin, Hickey and Nic Deslauriers

  25. Scribe, DEAD ON.

    This is what Ive been saying for weeks.

    You can always find another backup goaltender. As for replacing JJ, that’s the Kings strength in the prospect pool, defense. JJ is also replaceable. Loktionov is just a prospect and he can be replaced with a single well-used draft pick.

    You cannot find another Rick Nash.

    Thats why it is a good trade for the Kings. Everything theyre offering up, they will be able to replace, eventually. But there is only one chance to get someone like Rick Nash. You dont make this trade happen, and you wont be able to find another.

    Its that simple.


  1. Notes: Los Angeles Kings Attempting to Trade for Rick Nash - The 110 Report - A Los Angeles Sports Site
  2. Lost in Translation, Now it’s Desperation @ LA Kings Hockey Club Podcast

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