With Kings GM Dean Lombardi speaking on a variety of topics – for over 30 minutes – following today’s press conference to announce Darryl Sutter as the team’s new head coach, there is a lot of information to type up. Two articles have already posted. Here’s the third set of quotes. This time around, Lombardi is reacting to a questions about Sutter being away from coaching for quite some time…
“Well, how long has Bobby Valentine been out of coaching? [A reference to the Boston Red Sox recently hired manager] Heck, he’s been out longer than Darryl, right? So, I think there’s a few things that I find attractive in all of this. He was really good when we were in San Jose (together) and starting from scratch there, building it a little at a time. Even then, sometimes coaches – and rightfully so – it can get really like this [where players tune the coach out]. We come from the same background and we’ve had our battles. But, the beautiful thing about it was, it was never about power. It was never about ego. It was about winning.
“So, he really did show during that building process – like, a very different team than (he had) in Chicago, with Roenick, Belfour, Chelios – this was a team we were staring from scratch and it was a piece at a time. And he was good through that.
“The other thing that happens, I don’t think they stop coaching. And we’ve heard that in the other sports. Whether they’re in the broadcast booth or a General Manager, it’s just instinct. They’re like war veterans. They can’t stand being on the mountain, they have to be in the thick of it…I really believe that, they don’t stop coaching.
“Secondly, being a General Manager, as he was, you do know get the perspective – particularly in this era – that having seen a little how the cap works and stuff. Look, every team is going to have holes and it’s critical – it’s not like before the lockout where those powerhouses really had no holes. I think having gone through the GM experience, you now can see ‘OK, I have to get to this guy.’
“Thirdly, I also believe, the year off, I find attractive. It’s such a high intensity job – General Manager or coach – and I know how I felt. Actually, a team called me right away after I was let go in San Jose. It was a week after. I really couldn’t do it. I was not in the right frame (of mind). You’re so wound up. To step away from that for a good six months and to go and work for Philadelphia, I think helped me measurably. I think it’s the right time. I wouldn’t want him being with the bulls (cows?) for three years. But, I think this is good.
“So, the broader perspective of being a GM and the six months of still watching hockey, but not having to be in the battle – I see him reinvigorated. I’ve known him a long time and I picked him up at the airport. This guy cares and he’s emotional. He may not show it. When I picked him up, you could see he was pretty jacked up.”
More to come. Previously posted quotes from today are linked below.
Lombardi on Cheating vs. Earning It – and improvements needed on the team