Have you had enough of Kings GM Dean Lombardi yet? Of course you haven’t. This is the final batch of quotes from today’s conference call following the trade of Simon Gagne. After this, we’re moving on to comments from Asst GM Ron Hextall.
If you’re joining late though and want to start at the beginning, click here.
Otherwise, here’s more of what Lombardi had to say…
– On if he makes a move down the stretch, is it more likely for a stopper like Matt Greene, than another puck mover on defense: “Well I said that eventually when everybody’s coming back, that’s kind of what I’m looking at. But we’re clearly not there now. We’re still depleted there. But I was more like looking at when Martinez comes back, and even going forward for this year and beyond. I think you’ve seen the way we had planned this. Those who were with us since this process started know about the boxes. Generally you have a stopper with a puck mover. I know we talk about the Detroit thing, when you know everyone was going towards puck movers, and five on five, ‘the game was changing’ and everything else. Sometimes it’s what you believe in. And obviously that’s what we lost in Greene and Mitchell.
“So if you still believe in that mix, then sure. With that said said, the one good thing about it – and this has happened in the past too with good teams – is you can turn the negative into a positive because you’re right on. You lose part of your identity back there. And even in the playoffs, ‘Man these guys are hard to play. You can’t get around them, they move it.’ How many times did you hear in the last two series, ‘You get on them, you make the play, and when they’re on you, they’re hard.’ But the one thing when I go back talking about Ellerby and Muzzin – Muzzin has shown he can be physical, even when he first came up two years ago. These aren’t small boys by any stretch. And one of the reasons we like them, you start with a big frame. So they’ve shown they can be physical. Now it’s about doing it all the time. And you know how Darryl is, ‘You don’t sit there in the blue, you go close that gap. We will deny the back of the net. You keep your gaps on the rush.’ These kids are big kids and physically can handle it. But it takes a lot and if you look at a Rob Scuderi, he wasn’t shot out of a bottle. He just evolved. So we’re hoping that these kids, put into this situation, can add that to their game. But for now, Muzzin is showing he can play on the power play. Overall, if you look at what we lost – and you still believe in that ‘mover and stopper’ – it’s a big hole and we’ve got to adjust. These guys have to pick up the slack. Even with Drew and Voynov this year, they’re more physical. Drew had a hit last night, he’s done it before. But you can see these guys getting better in terms of winning these battles. Part of it, you just look at Voynov’s body, it’s more mature. So every one of these guys has got to do it if they’re going to play for Darryl.”
– On if there have been any preliminary talks with UFA-to-be Rob Scuderi: “It’s fair to say we’ve had some informal discussions. I wouldn’t say it’s fair to say we’ve got to the meat of it. But I’d say it’s fair to say an informal one.”
– On the importance of getting Scuderi under contract before pursuing a trade: “I think it’s fair to say that it’s something we’ll continue to look at. You’re probably right. It would make a lot of sense to heighten it before the trade deadline and before the season ends that’s for sure. Similar issue to Justin Williams. We had a similar issue there, and it got done.”
RELATED ARTICLE: Ron Hextall comments on the Gagne trade, plus Lombardi audio
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