Should Dean Lombardi’s Fate Hang In The Playoff Balance?

Imagine the following hypothetical: 93 points and we make the playoffs. 92 points and we don’t. We get 93 points and land in 8th. We play one of St. Louis or Vancouver. You’re happy, high-five me, smack your girl friend’s butt (which, if it came after you high-fived me, means I too smacked it) and let out a fuck yeah while you grab a beer! We get 92 points and land in 9th. You’re angry, tell your girlfriend not to speak with you for a couple of days, hit the wall and grab a beer.

93 points and you spend serious money on playoff tickets. 92 and you keep that money in your bank account in preparation for $5.00 per gallon gas prices.

93 points and you buy a potential greater aggravation if the Kings are eliminated in the first round for the third consecutive season. 92 points and you save that aggravation and set it aside for next season.

93 points and Dean Lombardi has a job? 92 points and he doesn’t?

Assume we make the playoffs and are in fact eliminated in the first round…how do you feel then? Now assume we make it to the second round but no further. Then? Dean Lombardi lose his job under the first scenario? Keep it in the second?

In a results oriented analysis, there is a strong argument that anything less than a deep run (Conference or Stanley Cup Finals) and Dean Lombardi should be fired. 6 years, no internal spending cap, cart blanche (or enough of it) to build the team he wants and no significant playoff success to show for it is a failure to deliver. But at what cost do you fire him? Unless Wayne Gretzky has agreed to take the GM job (my wish) or you trust Tim Leiweke to make a good decision on the next hire (which I don’t), is Dean Lombardi’s termination a step forward? Is it a potential disaster with AEG and Leiweke giving up on the franchise and infusing an internal cap? At some point, he has to be fired if the L.A. Kings cannot achieve playoff success. That is not the question here. The one here is should it be this season, now and conditioned on the team’s failure to make the playoffs, failure to advance past the first round or failure to go deep?

Whether you answer yes or no to each question, have you asked yourself the next one? What then?



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31 replies

  1. I’m curious about something. Bobby you mentioned that Gretzky would be your choice for GM. Because I live in N. Cal I am only able to see the Kings live when they are in San Jose. The other games I watch on “Center Ice”. Lately on Center Ice I have noticed Gretzky in attendance of all of the home games. My question is this, is that normal? Does he ALWAYS attend the home games, or is this something new? If this is new, can anything be drawn from that?
    Again, I’m just curious.

    • He attends a fair amount of games and has done so in previous years. I think his primary residence is in L.A.

      • His son (who just graduated) went to Oaks Christian so he was mostly in the LA area. He has been pretty damn adamant about not wanting to go back to hockey just yet. I know many teams would love to get ahold of him. I don’t see him doing it just yet though.

  2. I would give him one more year if they got very close, within the one or two points. The team, on paper, was very good (I thought it looked excellent and so did most analysts on TV) to start the year and has since been enhanced. Carter was a good pickup, the best guy moved in the trade window was Carter and we got him. Losing Jack is a “maybe bad” long-term, Carter is a “definitely good” in the short term.
    The greatest black mark against Lombardi currently is his hiring of Sutter, as a defense-first type of coach, when the team was floundering. Even so, under Sutter the reins are loosening and the team is in a systems transition to slightly more offensive.
    The failure to develop a top 6 winger is damning, but if I look at it I remember I was sick of Purcell and his soft play and scoring chance flubs, Boyle looked terrible, and Moulson was an obvious fuckup to let go without giving a chance. Lewis was a wasted number one pick, and the defense first thing is getting old.
    If I had Lombardi’s ear I would tell him to go for a scoring winger with size in the draft. If he answered back with any of that “best available player” bullshit I would can him on the spot. Either he knows and is working to rectify his over-emphasis on D and his other failings, in which case I give him one more draft and summer, or else he is stubborn in which case I fire him then and there.

    • My reply below focuses on your point….. essentially has he learned thru his failings. I just wonder because he seems so damned stubborn.
      I never like writing anyone off, and I’m not writing him off, but I do have doubts about his potential to take the team to the next level, sort of the same way I had big doubts as to what TM’s ceiling would be once he was hired.

  3. not this year. no deep playoff run next year and bye bye DL. (sutter is only under contract until next year too, right? so you could dump GM and coach and start fresh)

  4. In a results oriented analysis, there is a strong argument that anything less than a deep run (Conference or Stanley Cup Finals) and Dean Lombardi should be fired.

    … I would have been more than happy with winning one round in that time. All I’ve ever asked from him is one goddamned round, and I’m not even gonna get that, am I?

    6 years, no internal spending cap, cart blanche (or enough of it) to build the team he wants and no significant playoff success to show for it is a failure to deliver.

    … Correct. Also, can we point out that this team is essentially in the same position that the 05-06 team was in, the very team Lombardi tore down when he got here?

    But at what cost do you fire him? Unless Wayne Gretzky has agreed to take the GM job (my wish) or you trust Tim Leiweke to make a good decision on the next hire (which I don’t), is Dean Lombardi’s termination a step forward?

    … Incompetence above the GM is no excuse for holding the current GM accountable for his failure to deliver (e.g., firing him). If Wayne is hired as GM, I would feel a state of tempered enthusiasm – I’d like Gretz to have a good assistant, a behind the scenes guy, someone who can be groomed as the future GM over the next several years – I like Dave Nonis, for example.

    Is it a potential disaster with AEG and Leiweke giving up on the franchise and infusing an internal cap?

    Potential disaster??? Hell, that WOULD BE a disaster after all of the shit that Kings’ fans have had to eat during the Lombardi era. If that were to happen … I can’t see any reason why I wouldn’t give up on the franchise myself. I’ve done a lot of thinking about this over the last several months; it’s just not fun anymore to support the team with this front office running the show. If they give up, why shouldn’t I? Enough is enough. I would hope that they find a buyer who will actually care about the team, if it comes to that point.

    There comes a time where this kind of ineptitude is no longer tolerable. There is nothing cute or funny about seeing a team that I love getting their faces kicked in night after night, year after year, decade after decade. I see a franchise who’s won 5 playoff series in the 36 years without Gretzky, 6 in the 8 years WITH Gretzky, and yet I’ve wasted time arguing with yahoos and retardedly biased people online who want to tell me that acquiring Gretzky was one of the worst moves this franchise has ever made. It’s just … look, I don’t see the honor in constant losing and constant failure. It wasn’t a problem putting up with that in the years where I was first learning about hockey and discovering the thrill of a new sport in my life, but now? People made light of the Blackhawks being a “one and done” Cup team. Hell, I’d LOVE for the Kings to be a one and done team. That would mean they GOT one, right? Fuck, ALL I need is one. One time, win that thing. Then, the franchise can lose to its heart’s content. Lose for a decade for all I care. Just give me ONE.

    At some point, he has to be fired if the L.A. Kings cannot achieve playoff success. That is not the question here. The one here is should it be this season, now and conditioned on the team’s failure to make the playoffs, failure to advance past the first round or failure to go deep?

    … Why not? Do YOU trust Lombardi and Sutter to take the team to the next level? I sure as hell don’t. I think that’s the whole thing – I don’t trust anyone in Kings’ management right now. I think there is good talent on the ice being ruined and wasted by those who are supposed to lead that talent. I don’t see what good there is in holding on to people who have had time and opportunity to achieve success, yet utterly failed. I’ve said for a long time that Leiweke needs to be dumped as well, and if he’s not, well – enjoy continuous losing and underachievement, I guess? It’s time for a complete housecleaning if this team misses the playoffs – Governor, GM, Assistant GM, Head Coach. If that doesn’t happen, get ready to look for some other sucker to follow your sorry ass team, because I won’t be that sucker for much longer. I’ve done my fucking time.

    • @Dutch

      Man, I swear, I hear you. I actually credit DL for something I thought before would have been impossible. Living here in ny, I so looked forward (beginning of the season) to the nationally telecast games, but things got so bad that I couldn’t even watch them. I’d check my computer half way thru the game to see how things were going. That’s bad. I never have done that before. So I feel what you’re saying.

      Incompetence above the GM is no excuse for holding the current GM accountable for his failure to deliver (e.g., firing him) I copied that as I don’t quite get what you’re saying. Seems like a double negative to me so maybe you can clarify it.

      Another point…. I like many agree that there is a pretty decent amount of talent on the team. That said, I still feel overdone by Dean’s ‘best player available’ thing. I’m sorry but I just don’t get it. Was watching the Avs vs. Buffalo last night and they never gave up. Landeskog reminded me of Forsberg. Granted he was picked 2nd overall, but I thought, geez, they’re loaded up front. Duchesne, Ladeskog, Stasny, Ryan O’Reilly, David Jones will score 20 something this year. They’re fast. Jaime McGinn is doing great sense coming over from SJ.

      Then I was thinking today…. I know we got Richards essentially for Schenn (and Simmer), but the draft picks still leave a lot to be desired for me. People say Voynov!! Yeah, Voynov. And really who else that’s anything close to a game changer other than Doughty since DL’s been here? Who? I’m not jumping up and down about Voynov. If you eliminate Doughty (2nd overall as we know) Voynov is one player. Practically any franchise in the league manages to get one or two good players in a six year period. If they don’t they usually end up being called the Columbus Blue Jackets.

      Also, I watch other teams and most of them have that one player that is a bit nasty and plays with quite an edge. Not sure who that would be on the Kings other than Clifford, and he hasn’t really been playing that way enough this year.

      I just don’t get the feeling that the man at the top has his hand firmly on the wheel. Seems as Quisp has joked that he’d love to be Philly. All things Philly. Personally I like the idea of creating something unique and your own. It’s scarier. It leaves less point of reference, but the Rangers have done a fantastic job of that. They’ve set up Torts with some good FA signings and added in Carl Hagelin who is playing w Richards and Gaborik and doing a terrific job. Del Zotto who is hurt now has really come in to his own this year. McDonaugh they got for the anchor that was Scott Gomez. And everyone thought Sather had lost the plot. Nope, not so much as it turns out.

      The big question remains, has DL really learned anything from his mistakes? I don’t have an answer for that. If he has then next year would be critical. I’m still bothered by the fact that out of three first round draft picks we got a fourth line center who doesn’t seem to have any scoring touch (you draft those guys in the fourth round, not the first), a smallish offensive dman – who while certainly having qualities, we don’t seem to need at this point in time, and another dman (Teubert) who didn’t look like he was gonna be anything special and was then traded away for Penner, who also hasn’t been anything special. Not even average.

      Last point….. people say…. well this guy was injured, well that guy, who knew he’d lose any scoring touch that he had, the other guy…. blah blah blah.
      Gonna put my summation in the following post. Don’t worry…. it’ll be short.

      • So, my summation is this: While Dean has done some good things, I almost get the feeling that he’s cancelled many of those out by failed draft picks, poor decision making etc. Like Dutch said, I want them to win a Cup. A Cup. And I just don’t see how that is even remotely possible save a scalding hot goalie, if they keep running in place.

        Lombardi can say all he wants about how this young team is in another learning situation to get to the next level. But three years running they are unsure of a playoff spot and struggling (especially this year) to get to the eighth spot. How in God’s name are you gonna win a Cup ending up eighth every year? Philly Almost did it, but they didn’t. Same with Edmonton years back. But I can’t think of one team who has actually done that.

        Also, Vancouver, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, NY Rangers, Boston all look as though they’ll be strong for several years to come. Figure in to that that Dallas has every indication that they’re gonna get better w Lehtonen, Edmonton sooner or later with all that talent is also gonna get better. Same with the Avs. It’s not like the Kings have three or four teams in their way to get to a cup. It’s more like a solid ten teams.

        Unless Lombardi has really learned from his errors and is starting to wake up to the fact that you just Have To Have Speed and Skill to Win and Compete for a Cup in this era, then he probably isn’t the guy to get them there.

      • Incompetence above the GM is no excuse for holding the current GM accountable for his failure to deliver (e.g., firing him) I copied that as I don’t quite get what you’re saying. Seems like a double negative to me so maybe you can clarify it.

        … You’re right; good catch. I couldn’t go back in and correct it. What I meant was “Incompetence above the GM is no excuse for NOT holding the current GM accountable for his failure to deliver (e.g., firing him)”. Just missed that one key word.

      • The big question remains, has DL really learned anything from his mistakes?

        … I was talking a bit with Dennis Bernstein of the fourth period earlier today, and he says the Kings are going to want to do three things:

        – Dump Stoll and Penner
        – Insert Loktionov in Stoll’s spot
        – Use the money saved from dumping Stoll and Penner to give Quick a big $$$ extension

        Not unexpected, if you ask me. I wouldn’t do ANY of those three things, personally; but I know Lombardi will.

        What are the effects of these moves? Glad you asked.

        – A bottom six even weaker than it was at the beginning of THIS season
        – A project forward in a role where he will be asked to do more than he is capable of doing, considering a third-line center is a very important role on a hockey club and Loktionov currently is not good enough to even crack the lineup at the NHL level (he hasn’t played in a game since Feb 22)
        – More reliance on injury-prone veterans than at any other time in the Lombardi era
        – Giving a goalie with exactly ONE above-average season a long-term extension when he is posting numbers which are unsustainable for him (I’ll cover this in an article later this month)
        – Giving UP on a goalie before even finding out what he can do, given consistent or semi-consistent games/minutes

        So, this leads me to believe that no, he has not learned anything. Which would be quite unsurprising, seeing as how he already knows everything there is to know about hockey – just ask him. Again, I don’t see the benefit of continuing to have someone like that in this organization.

        • Agree with you about Loktionov. I would keep Stoll at 3rd C albeit at a cheeper rate. When he is on his game (like lately) he is an excellent 3rd C. Lokti is not ready for that spot yet.
          I would even consider tossing Penner a small bone (really small) for one year to see if he can get his game back on track once his head is clear from his failed marriage. I would bet he takes it, he owes us some goals.

          Meanwhile after dumping Stoll in favor of Lokti DL would blame failure on the fact that the team is getting younger. Well who is making the team younger Dean? And why? Putting in Lokti when he’s not ready is a bad move. There is no benefit to getting younger just for the sake of getting younger unless you are trying to save money or have an internal cap.

          There is a little Schizo thing going on here with DL. If you’re trying to win now, spending to the cap and under pressure from ownership to win now why would you even think about making the team younger by allowing players to come up who are not ready or arent as good as the players they are replacing? It makes no sense to replace players with players who aren’t as good if you are trying to win.

  5. I would have fired Dean the second he told me that he wanted to hire Sutter and give him a multi-year contract.
    Kings would have to make final four for me to think about keeping Lombardi hockey in LA.

    One series win in six years would not be enough to keep him around. If this roster can overcome lombardi hockey and win a round, just imagine how good they could be.

    Off topic, but would you rather have Kovalchuk for $6.66 or Carter at $5.27? Both are signed forever and both are 30-40 goal scorers. I think carter is more suited to the kings current style and I’m glad he is in LA. If he remains the motivated and happy carter, he will get 30+ next season.

    • I take carter. Kovalchuk was terrible on D this year. I am actually very impressed with Carter’s D game so far.

  6. Here’s to hoping we make the playoffs, go past the first round, come close in the second round (at least), and forgive everyone’s sins to give it another try next year. If this does not happen, let’s go to plan B which involves much more change.

  7. You are using the wrong yardstick. AEG/Lieweke will measure DL by dollars. Did the expanded salaries return sufficient money in Tickets, Merch and that Jalepeno Dog that had me barfing at 3 am? Sure, A cup is a great way to sell tickets and merchandise but it isn’t required. LA has a whole shitload of money floating around it, and Tim/AEG were rightfully asking why the Kings weren’t getting more of it. Even if the Kings stayed in a form statis, first round and out, but the numbers were improving yearly, he’d keep the job.

    Of course, that can’t be easy to do, so DL should you know… try to win something.

  8. What’s with all the fucking questions? I come here for answers!!!

  9. If he learns from his mistakes keep him. So far he hasn’t learned from his mistakes.

  10. Dean, faults and all is the best GM we’ve had. Am afraid of a parade of McMasters and Beverlys and Rogies again decimating everything. No. I’ll be patient a while longer.

    • Also, think of what he started with. Yeah, six years. I know. But i’ve been watching/living/dying with this team since ’78. We’re going in the right direction. Don’t you remember all the horrible trades befote Lombardi? Gretzky for…….nothing, Zhitnik for Fuhr?

      • Depends on what you want. If you want a truly elite team to compete regularly with Detroit, Vancouver and Pittsburgh, I’m not convinced he’s the guy. You can say we beat Detroit (1/2 of a Detroit team, otherwise lost all the other games to them), Vancouver or whoever this year. But check out the record vs. Avs, Edmonton and Columbus this year.

        Even the best teams lose occasionally to poor teams, but that doesn’t mean having a roughly .230 win percentage out of twelve games. And if you figure in the Islanders and Montreal it gets even worse. A team with that sort of record is starting off on the wrong foot if they expect to win 16 games vs the very best teams in the league over four rounds.

        I tend to look at it that way. And in terms of percentages you have to have more decisions (i.e. everything a gm does) go your way than against you. Boston has two top goalies and actually uses them both. They draft Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand in 2nd and 3rd rounds of the same draft (both huge difference makers…. ironically DL type players…. but who can score and play with a lot of edge), have the foresight to trade away Phil Kessel and turn him into Tyler Sequin and whoever else they got w Toronto’s other 1st round pick. That’s the sort of decision making that will get you a Stanley Cup.

        Having your key drafts over six years be Schenn and Simmonds (= Mike Richards), and Doughty, plus Voynov is pretty good. Not amazing, but quite good. Then a number of poor decisions that counterbalanced that. That’s why it makes it hard to really move up the ladder. Too many poor draft decisions (no one, but no one gets them all right…. that’s obvious, but it’s how it all balances out at the end), he’s given up two future first round picks because he didn’t draft any skilled forwards for the first four years, brought in too many vets who have done nothing (Cloutier, Penner, Moreau, Hunter, Nagy), two coaching choices that were not gonna bring results, and a questionable third one. Still not entirely convinced of Sutter though he’s working out better than TM so far.
        And above all of that a focus on defense that is simply too far out of balance. That simple. Also as Dutch above points out, he drafts Bernier (another first round pick) and then ‘Giving UP on a goalie before even finding out what he can do, given consistent or semi-consistent games/minutes’.

        How many poor trades has Ray Shero made? You can say they were very fortunate to get Crosby and Malkin (and they were). But he also made incredibly savvy trades for James Neal and Chris Kunitz; two top notch wingers. They were able to transform Matt Cooke from a destructive madman into a very functional penalty killer and third line player.

        Based on what I’ve seen so far from DL in SJ and LA, I haven’t seen indications that he functions at that level. And one last thing going back to Bernier. One can say all one wants ‘wow, look what a great goalie DL drafted’. Yeah, but if you don’t manage your assets then it just doesn’t matter if you don’t maximize them.

        • Oh, and in rereading my comments I forgot maybe the most significant point regarding Ray Shero; he gets rid of Greg Thierrien at exactly the right moment in time and replaces him with the untested Dan Bylsma. Just watch Bylsma behind the bench. You can see he has a perfect bench demeanor and managed to keep the Pens competitive last yr without all of their best players.

          DL has three goes at coaches and while I certainly appreciate and respect many of TM’s qualities as a man and a teacher, I don’t see that he was gonna lead the Kings to a cup, nor do I ever see DL taking that sort of a leap and hiring an unproven coach. Dallas has. Pittsburgh has. Tampa Bay did (and won a cup). Not saying that’s the only way to do it, but you get my drift….. I hope.

          • Oh, and in rereading my comments I forgot maybe the most significant point regarding Ray Shero; he gets rid of Greg Thierrien at exactly the right moment in time

            … You mean Michel Therrien? I think that’s pretty harsh, given that Therrien had the Pens in the Stanley Cup Final the season before. I don’t believe that Pittsburgh wins it all in ’09 without the experience they had in ’08. Therrien led the Penguins from crap, something Bylsma has never had to do.

            Therrien was a great coach, and I’m not convinced that he had to be fired for the Penguins to go all the way. That’s 20/20 hindsight nonsense. Matter of fact, he’d be a perfect coach for the Kings right now. He has a terrific mind for the game, and he’s also a passionate guy – he’s not a cardboard cutout, which is what Bylsma seems to be turning into (I think Disco’s a fine enough coach, mind you). I also believe Bylsma gets too much credit because people constantly underrate the Penguins’ talent without Crosby in the lineup.

          • OK Dutch, you got me there. I did completely forget about Therrien getting them to the finals the year before. But that said, clearly they were in a massive and prolonged slump when the move to Bylsma was made. Personally I really like Bylsma a lot. So I take gladly the critique that it’s hindsight, but that said, my point was that I can’t ever imagine DL taking a risk like Shero did to hire an unknown quantity like Bylsma.

          • …. and just rereading your comments…. I meant that Shero took the leap in terms of his ‘timing’ to do what needed to be done, but I can see that it would have come off very differently when you read it.

            Also, strangely enough wrt your comments about Vachon as GM, I also was thinking that he wasn’t really that bad of a GM. And I’ve pointed out, as has Scribe here several times, that Lombardi walks into a team that had three huge pieces either in place or at least in the system…. Kopi, Brown, and Quick though Quick had yet to play when DL took over.
            Now if you look back to last year (before acquiring Richards), who were the keys for the team: Kopi, Brown, Quick and then Doughty. It’s always said, but it’s true…. you would have probably drafted Doughty, or Pietrangelo who they said had perhaps more long term upside. But it wasn’t really an amazing selection that required huge foresight.

            Finally, if you look at the whole trajectory of the Sharks when he was there, the two key goalies again were already in place when he arrived. In the later part of his managership (can you say that?) he traded for guys who had won cups (Damphousse and Adam Graves), just as he did w the Kings (Scuds and Willie). You might call that an unfair crit but it isn’t brought up as a criticism, as I know he’s certainly not the only GM to do that sort of thing, but the point is that he’s sort of recreating his whole scenario w the Sharks all over again, right down to having his star player hold out, and things going pear shaped in the sixth year I believe.

          • and yes I know that he didn’t trade for Scuds…. was FA, but feel like I have to back up everything here or risk getting called on it. I’m in the middle of work, so certain points don’t come thru crystal clear.

    • Am afraid of a parade of McMasters and Beverlys and Rogies again decimating everything.

      … McMaster was GM of a team that was going bankrupt. Vachon and Beverley both had much more impressive results than Lombardi has had. Taylor started with FAR less than Lombardi and had better success.

      When all is said and done, if the Kings don’t make the playoffs this season and Lombardi is fired, Dean will do down as one of the worst GMs in Kings’ history – and that’s saying something.

  11. By nature, I am impatient and that has worked well for me. So, I have no patience at all for DL and he ought to start his golf season early. If he left yesterday that was too late for me.
    The guy has really accomplished very little over his career in terms of what is finally producing on the ice on a regular basis. All he gives you is some occasional good times, but the usual story with his captainship is mediocre results and a non-elite (not top 8) team year after year.
    If you keep doing the same thing, you get the same results…

  12. Fire Lombardi and this is why:

    1. Failure to develop a draft choice at the forward position. Lewis was a 1st round pick, and he’s barely a 4th line center. Last I knew you don’t draft a guy in the 1st round for your 4th line. You say what about Loktionov? I say its going to be years before the verdict is out on him. So far he is 5th or 6th on the depth chart at an already overloaded center position.
    Toffoli/Weal/Vey/Kozun all not going to be in the NHL while Lombardi is still employed. We may see them someday, but not anytime soon.

    2. Questionable higher draft selections 1st or 2nd round picks.
    Bernier good pick
    Hickey hasn’t exactly shown why he was worthy of a 1st round selection
    Simmonds IMO wrong coach, wrong system and poor player management/evaluation
    Moller perhaps with a different coach, system he might find a place with the Kings, but for right now Sweden is where he is playing.
    Teubert just to get to the draft slot so they could get him, trading a proven scorer and draft slots, and now he is gone, again no real time with the AHL, and no longer with the Kings.
    Doughty wasn’t like he had to think about this one, it was a consolation prize for not having a great record. I don’t give Lombardi and scouts any credit for this.
    Voynov great draft pick, looks like he will be a very good defenseman with great offensive upside.
    Brayden Schenn used to acquire Mike Richards. Could you imagine if for once Lombardi did try to move up and was able to get Kane what this team could be like now?
    Derek Forbort highly regarded as a potential 2 way defenseman. That is great, however the Kings clearly had a need for a sniper with speed something that was still available in Tarasenko/Kuznetsov/Etem
    Christopher Gibson a 2nd round pick after a 1st round pick was traded to Edmonton for Penner. Again the Kings were still in need of more offense, and Gibson is a goalie.

    3. 3 coaches in 6 years.

    4.Poor player management and development. Too many productive players allowed to become UFA’s. Keeping players like Scott Parse, Davis Drewiskie who have done little to nothing to help this team, while allowing your 2nd best scorer to be relegated to 3rd and 4th line roles. Allowing a solid 3rd line player who is great on face offs, puck protection and defensively responsible to become a UFA.

    5. Questionable UFA signings. Ethan Moreau, Trent Hunter, Simon Gagne, Randy Jones, Alexi Ponikorovsky, Dan Cloutier

    6. Not keeping promises to both players and fans. Kopitar was told he will be the highest paid Kings player. Promise broken by giving a inconsistent Drew Doughty a 7mill contract. Shopping your current captain, who has been loyal and not asked for some stupid contract, making it clear he wants to remain with this team. Trading away another young “core” player in Jack Johnson who also made it clear with his very reasonable contract he also wanted to remain a King for many years.
    I understand this is a business, and having the lowest scoring team in the NHL for the most part of half the season is going to force some change to be made.
    Continued dislike of longterm contracts, yet trading for players under such contracts.
    Fans being patient, believing in your claims of success, yet never getting the results as promised.

    7. Historical failure to sign a marquee UFA.

    8. Trading draft picks and for the most part, not getting value for these picks.

    9. Hiring the past 2 coaches who had a history of mainly 1st round playoff appearances and each 1 Stanley Cup Final appearance. Both had teams which were highly touted, but never lived up to what they had been projected to be.

    10. 5 year plan still not where he promised it to be, and not building past the back.

    11. We are not the Flyers, an organization he continues to try to recreate, which only had success almost 40 years ago. Coaches, former Flyer players and no real significant improvements, other than making the playoffs.

    Kings need to miss the playoffs, they need the 1st round pick in this upcoming NHL draft. There needs to be someone new to come in after this season is over. We need a new approach, a new system and this all has to happen before the draft. Trades to move up in the draft, some UFA signings the new regime feels will compliment or improve this team to finally live up to the paper potential we have all been waiting for.

    Thank you Dean, you have started to restore this franchise. You have pretty much repeated your success with San Jose, and this is your ceiling so you need to step away from the controls.

    Ciao Dean. It’s been real, its been fun, but your time is done.

    • Crikey dude, that is some kind of a resume or summary, or whatever you want to call it.
      You did it all in one tight post. I tend to come back to different bits on different posts so prefer the way you did it. Nice one.

      One in particular I’d like to expand on: 4.Poor player management and development.

      Living in ny I get a bit more exposure to both Brian Boyle and Moulson than perhaps others do as a rule. The Rangers have really DEFINED Boyle’s role and he fits it to a ‘t’. He plays on the power play (their best faceoff man and then uses size to plant himself in front of the net), pk (best faceoff man and uses long reach to block lanes), blocks shots (just got hurt last night blocking a shot… all the Rangers are obliged to block shots).
      Moulson, yes he’s fortunate to be playing w Tavares, but you can see his touch around the net and how it helps playing w another good man in spite of Lombardi’s protestations that he plays on a bad team
      Simmonds: my friend pointed out that Simmer is scoring more because he plays on the PP. OK fine. But someone also Saw Something In Him and put him there. What a novel idea. You actually SEE something in a player and help him to develop that instead of saddling him w a coach who has him go up and down the wing. No wonder he’s scoring more goals.
      Jack Johnson: Many including myself really liked him. In spite of Lombardi’s protestations that he played college w a poor coach or whatever, there is something inherent in his style. Why is it…… really something to consider…. that when Doughty wasn’t there he played w less of a leash and was far more effective, and that evidently he is a + in his time with a much poorer team than the Kings? And clearly he made comments to that effect.

      The only one I have to disagree with you on is point No. 5 5. Questionable UFA signings. Ethan Moreau, Trent Hunter, Simon Gagne, Randy Jones, Alexi Ponikorovsky, Dan Cloutier
      There are two ex Flyers in there so I guess it fits his philosophy. Wait, maybe it doesn’t work like that. Oh well.

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