Lombardi on if Kings Have More Plans Before the Deadline

Following the Kings trade with Carolina earlier today, GM Dean Lombardi hosted a conference call with local media. Here is part two of what he had to share…

On if the Kings are done or still might make other trades before the deadline:

“I have to be honest with you. I don’t see a lot. Knock on wood, [Tanner Pearson] is making a lot of progress. I think, collectively now, that’s a pretty strong group on the backend. I think some of our forwards are starting to emerge. What I like, and I think we’re seeing it, is often times, and we forget this, the biggest area for improvement is when a lot of your younger players are starting or continuing to get better. When you talk about going out and getting other players, it’s not even the biggest way. We forget that players like [Kyle] Clifford, [Dwight] King, and [Jordan] Nolan – go right down the line – are far from their ultimate potential. That also includes [Jake] Muzzin and [Drew] Doughty, and everybody. I think the improvement in the other areas, we’re going to continue to see. I think we’ve seen the growth of Dwight King recently. This is just what happens with the development curve. I think Clifford has been really good the last month. He’s a better player than he was last year. I think we have confidence in these guys to keep getting better and assume bigger roles.

“To answer your question, you never say never, but as a practical matter, the focus was on the backend and I don’t see a lot of leeway going another way. And I don’t consider ourselves a seller, if we’re going out and being this aggressive on the buyers side.”

On the overall market for defenseman who may have been available:

“The problem you run into, I think most people would consider this kid [Sekera], as somebody who can play in your top-4. How many of them are out there? Sure, there are some players, who I guess would fit into this category, but there is also… you don’t get to a lot of them, because even the teams that maybe are struggling know that they’re going to need players next year. There is also the feeling, don’t forget, we see this in all sports, you can turn things around very quickly. I’m not sure how you would describe it, but certainly at this point, unless there are some surprises, I would say this was one of the better defensemen on the market. I think that is probably a safe statement. I guess things could change, but [the market] certainly isn’t overwhelming either.

“That’s why you saw, even going back to last summer, some pretty big contracts for defensemen. That’s because there aren’t a lot of them. You say another one on the island {when New York signed defenseman Nick Leddy to an extension this week]. This trade was not only a reflection off a good player, but there aren’t a lot of them out there. Unless I’m wrong here, I don’t think you’re going to see an overwhelming number of top-four guys that are going to be available, period. But, I’ve been wrong before.”

Part one with Lombardi was posted here. In that section he talked about how the Kings turned things around recently.

3 MUST-READ ARTICLES:

BREAKING NEWS: Full Details on Kings Trade for Sekera

UPDATED: Full Details on Kyle Clifford Extension

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