Kings GM Dean Lombardi on the future of Willie Mitchell

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Last hour we posted the first half of an interview with Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who was on Sportsnet Radio (Fan 590) in Toronto earlier today. In that article he shared thoughts about the Dustin Brown suspension and provided an early outlook heading into next week’s playoffs. Now, for the conclusion, here’s what he had to say about the situation surrounding injured defenseman Willie Mitchell..

- On if he had any idea Mitchell would be out the whole season: “No. Quite frankly, this was basically just a meniscus, which are a dime-a-dozen now in sports. I don’t know. I’ve had so many discussions with doctors, just like Grey’s Anatomy here or something, but bottom line is…Part of it is the way he’s a little bit knock-kneed and the stress that puts on it combined with wear and tear, and then the meniscus. It doesn’t look good, you know? He tried twice. It reached a mark where he could push it, and then every time he pushed it, it was serious problems. So, the knee’s probably – like I say, hockey people can appreciate this guy, he’s probably one of the most underrated players in the league. He’s got a stick – the length and range on this guy defensively, his angles, he’s an absolute clinic out there. He’s probably one of the best penalty killers in the league.”

- On if Mitchell’s injury is career threatening: “It’s possible. It’s always a tough decision for athletes. You know, you have Kobe Bryant, who was playing bone-on-bone. But this could be serious repercussions on his normal life down the road. So that’s the hard thing for a player. Could he push it, maybe? And play through the swelling and everything for a year or two? Yeah. But with that said, he might have to go the rest of his life walking with a limp. And that’s a very difficult call for an athlete.”

If you missed part one of the interview, see the link below in the ‘Related Content’ section.

Also, earlier this month, Lombardi talked in greater detail about Mitchell’s injury in an article here. Meanwhile, our exclusive interview with Mitchell from a few weeks prior can also be found here - he talks about the emotions of not playing this season.

RELATED CONTENT: Lombardi on the Dustin Brown suspension and 2013 playoff outlook

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Comments

  1. Brandon Tosch says:

    :(

  2. Robyn says:

    Oh Mitchie. :( How we miss thee! I hope he’s better enough to return next season for another Cup run

  3. JOCELYN Z says:

    Willie wears his heart on his s… stick. We all see that. He loves the game and everything about it. That is a very hard thing to walk away from so I can understand the internal pain he is going through about making decisions. Whatever it will be – whether he plays again or not, I sincerely hope the Kings Organization does him right. And although we all hate for this to happen: If he chooses not play again and retire, I would love for him to retire as a KING for sure and that includes his number. HE IS A WARRIOR. And always a KING to us all.