LA Kings Lombardi – ‘Kopitar may be the new Blake Griffin’

Mike Richards, Mike Richards, Mike Richards.

Don’t worry, we’ll get back to him later – there are plenty more notes and quotes from today’s press luncheon that I’ll post later.

How about we shift gears though for a moment…

Among the myriad of topics that Kings GM Dean Lombardi waxed poetically about for more than 30 minutes after the main session were some of the injuries to key players coming out of last season.

We didn’t get much on how Justin Williams is recovering from his recent shoulder surgery, other than Lombardi saying he was “more than fine” and left LA a few weeks ago.

Not that the GM wasn’t in the mood to share news on Williams, it was just a case of him being ready to go deep on Anze Kopitar. Only this time Lombardi wasn’t preparing to talk about one of his favorite topics, baseball – however, he did through a change-up at us.

He first said Kopitar is ‘close’ when asked if he’s back skating. “I heard that he was running,” shared Lombardi. “I don’t know if he went out for a twirl, it’s not skating per se. Bottom line though, everything I heard last week is he’s way ahead of schedule.”

Dean was just getting warmed up too…

“Kopi’s worked hard. I’m hoping this turns into a Blake Griffin (situation)…they said how hard he worked and appreciated the game,” Lombardi said, comparing his young center’s situation to that of the Clippers draft pick, who missed his entire NBA rookie year after damaging his knee in pre-season. “I sensed when he (Kopitar) left here, how hard he was working on his upper body. I had never seen him work that hard before. I think part of it was when you finally get hurt and you have to sit out…I hear Blake Griffin talk about that, ‘In the end, it was really good for me to appreciate what I have.’”

Lombardi concluded by saying, “I (get) a new sense of vengeance and focus from Kopi. I’m hoping I’m right. But, everything I’m getting is, he’s way ahead of schedule.”

[UPDATE - OK, OK...if you just can't wait any longer, the first Mike Richards article is up now (link) - he looks ahead to the first game of next season, talks 'hatred' for the New York Rangers and about fighting Brandon Dubinsky]

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Kings GM Lombardi on Coach Murray’s performance last season

Kings GM Dean Lombardi on Kings’ poor power play

Kings GM Lombardi wants ‘pissed off’ players

Dean Lombardi ‘troubled’ by Ryan Smyth trade request

Lombardi on Dustin Brown as his captain

RECAP:  Dean Lombardi meeting with ‘shareholders’

order here –> MayorsManor Store
SAVE $5.00 TODAY – USE COUPON CODE SAYITTSHIRTS (expires 8/8/2011)

Recent Articles

Kings Roster Questions

Training Camp Open, Kings Trade Coming Next

Last summer, Dean Lombardi and his staff spent hours, days, and weeks-on-end agonizing over the salary cap. How were they going to get certain people re-signed, fit everybody under the cap, and make it all work without damaging their future wiggle room? In the end, Lombardi and Jeff Solomon, his key right hand in these [...]

Bodnarchuk-AHL-Manchester

Kings Camp Preview: 7 Questions with Dman Andrew Bodnarchuk

Even without suiting up for a single NHL game, one could argue that last season was a career best for Manchester Monarchs defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk. In his sixth professional season, the former Bruins draft pick put up 32 points, 12 more than his previous best of 20. On top of that, his +43 rating left [...]

Zykov Valentin Kings

Rookie Game 2: Zykov Shines Kings put away Coyotes

A band of the Kings top prospects bounced back with a 3-1 win over the Coyotes rookies in their second meeting in two days at Gila River Arena on Wednesday after losing the previous meeting 4-1. The Kings came out hard and outmuscled the Coyotes to take control of the game and never really let [...]

Major News Items

Manchester Monarchs MayorsManor Kings by Blake Gumprecht

MAJOR NEWS: Kings Preparing To Move Top Prospects To SoCal

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com Follow @mayorNHL In a story that MayorsManor has been chasing for the … [Read More...]

More Prospect News