Yes, even though you’ve already read a lot of comments from Kings GM Dean Lombardi on MayorsManor today, we still have more for you!
– On if he’s still looking for a left wing via trade: “No, I think like I said earlier, you still have Brad Richardson, who can play all the positions. That’s one thing that’s good about Brad. He’s a guy that can play every position – center, left winger, right wing, and can go play on your top lines as well as checking lines. So he’s still you know part of this group. As I said earlier, the only reason we do this (trade for Gagne) is not thinking I’ve got a trade coming. It isn’t similar to Ellerby. Don’t forget 9we) traded players in the minors for a pick and then pop it for Ellerby. This isn’t a case where I’m going to use this pick and go replace Gagne. The focal point here is to get the roster spot. And if we need a player, we feel fairly comfortable that at least those kids in the minors – are they going to be Gagne? Well, maybe someday, but at least we felt that they were kind of at the stage where maybe Nolan and King were last year. Where we’re like, ‘OK, if we gotta use them, we’re comfortable with that.’ In fact, if a player comes up that really can help us, well we got the cash and we’ve got the cap space. But, the intent of this at this stage is not to go into the market place and fill that right now. But again, you never know in this thing. You’re on the phone all the time. If something hits me, we’re prepared to do it.”
– On if Asst GM Ron Hextall’s recent visit to Manchester spurred the trade: “Yeah I think. He was there, his monitoring is continuous. It’s an ongoing thing with those kids down there. The one thing that’s happened, you know we lost players on waivers. A couple players, they’ve been banged up at time. We trade Loktionov. One of the things that happens is those three kids on the line (Tanner Pearson, Linden Vey and Tyler Toffoli), it’s pretty to see, but they are playing constantly. Now they are being targeted and playing hard minutes down there. So when Hexy was there – and Jack (Ferreira) was down there, and OC (Mike O’Connell) was down there – we’re constantly looking at kids to see if they’re ready. There’s different stages of ready too – ready for a shot, ready for an impact, ready to fit in. But we felt pretty good on all three of them, they’re as good a forwards as we’ve had come through the system. And what I mean by through the system, and how I feel about this, Kopitar and Brownie and Drew and those kids who came in, I don’t consider that technically coming through your development program and paying your dues in the minors. But when you look at their game and what they’re able to do, they’re good hockey players. But again, they’re still very young.
“The other thing don’t forget, part of Voynov’s success is the way he did pay his dues down there. His game, it’s such a solid foundation to grow from, so much of that is a tribute to him. He was 19 years old. He was the youngest player in the American League and how he stuck with it – the Russians were coming at him, ‘You can make a million dollars over here.’ And when he had to play in the minors during this lockout, he could have easily asked to go back – which was a lot of money. He played his bag off. His growth as an athlete and as a person is off the charts and I think a big part of that is because he did pay his dues down there. So hopefully these other kids, what they’re going through now is going to pay off. Like I say, at least with (trading) Gagne, we were OK with giving these kids a chance. Its’ a long winded answer to your question, but certainly Hexy’s reports down there, and when Jack was down there a couple weeks ago, certainly contributed to this.”
There’s still plenty more from the call with Lombardi. Please use the related link below for the next batch of quotes.
LA Kings prospect rankings, midseason 2013 – more on Toffoli, Pearson, Vey, etc.
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