Lombardi has a plan for free agents, not just wingn’ it

For those not following along on twitter and/or facebook today, here is where things stand with free agency…

Back when Kings GM Dean Lombardi arrived in Los Angeles in the spring of 2006 he immediately began talking about building the team from the net out.

More recently, he’s acknowledged that the team needs to be stronger at center if they want to compete with the upper echelon of the Western Conference – teams like Vancouver, San Jose and Detroit.

So, while a bunch of free agent forwards signed elsewhere today – Andrew Brunette (Chicago), Eric Cole (Montreal), Tomas Fleischmann (Florida), Jeff Halpern (Washington), Jaromir Jagr (Philadelphia), Ville Lenio (Buffalo), Alexei Ponikarovsky (Carolina), Michael Ryder (Dallas), Steve Sullivan (Pittsburgh), Marco Sturm (Vancouver), Scottie Upshall (Florida), Kris Versteeg (Florida via trade) and Joel Ward (Washington) – Lombardi headed to Toronto in pusuit of another center.

There are unconfirmed reports he’s asked coach Terry Murray how feasible it is to start 12 centers on offense. Which is great news to prospects like Andrei Loktionov and Jordan Weal, who would be needed for those 11th and 12 spots.

So, for now we wait.

Three teams have yet to make a big splash today – the Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers.

Thus, we’re actually right back where we started. The same three teams that have been rumored for over a month to be the front runners for uber UFA Brad Richards are still in the hunt.

Oh yeah, one more thing… there’s also a very good, often injured, former Flyer winger who hasn’t signed with anybody yet. Perhaps he’s plan B.

The Mayor
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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.