After sending Simon Gagne back to the Philadelphia Flyers for a conditional draft pick, Kings GM Dean Lombardi held a conference call where he addressed a number of items, including – the trade details, injury updates, calling up prospects, what he’ll be looking for at the Trade Deadline and much more. Here’s the first batch of quotes from the call…
- Has the evaluation of his team changed over the last few weeks: “Even though I’m sixth in seniority (among NHL GMs), this was new turf for me. I certainly had experience in building, but being at the top of the mountain is a different challenge. So, I’m not going to begin to kid myself that I have all the answers. But, the one thing this early on, as you well know, I tried to get ahead of the curve by talking to so many people about what to look for. But, quite frankly, until you experience and feel it, you really don’t have a grasp of it.
“So, when you ask about a change in evaluation, the whole team is back and they were Stanley Cup champions. I think there’s an issue of them – this whole ‘hangover’ stuff. Becoming emotionally attached again is a difficult thing. But, as I’ve said through this process and will continue to say, the challenges they faced to get to the top of the mountain, it’s a different challenge, but it’s a challenge. And they’ve shown they can meet it every time – as a very young group. So, whenever we’re going through what we’re going through, in the back of my mind I’m saying ‘These guys have shown you how they’ve gotten through the hard times. I’ve always maintained the character in that room, the competitiveness, the caring for each other – which is one of the reasons I brought them all back – not only their abilities, but the fact that they were a group that clearly care about each other and care about the right things.
“So, did the evaluation change? I don’t think that’s the right word. I don’t know. It’s probably one of those things that once you’re done getting through it, I’ll have a better handle on it. So, sorry to be so nebulous about it, but you’re talking about an emotional feeling that these guys have. Nobody got any older, per se. Nobody got over the cliff. This was a very young team last year. We have nine guys here 25 years and under. I think the only other teams to come close to that are Edmonton and Philly. So, they’re growing all the time. This is like I’ve said before, ‘I don’t know, but I’ll know when I see it.’ Some of the things I’ve seen here I can’t describe. Again, ask me when I retire. I’ll have a perfect handle on it like John McCray did.”
There was much more said during the call and we’re posting over multiple articles. Please see the related link below for the next batch of quotes.
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