Following the Kings trade with Carolina earlier today, GM Dean Lombardi hosted a conference call with local media. In typical fashion, he had plenty to say on a myriad of topics. In earlier portions already posted (with links below), he explained in detail what’s been going through his mind over the past month and how active the Kings might continue to be leading into Monday’s trade deadline.
And this is the final portion of what he had to share…
On if there have been talks with Andrej Sekera about a contract extension:
“No, we haven’t been able to talk to him, that would have been tampering. Oh, I guess I could have got permission; but, no, we didn’t have any discussions along those lines.”
On what he likes most about Sekera:
“Well, I think it’s the one area of the team that we felt that was the one area that could be targeted in terms of an upgrade and that means as a group. I think the thing about him, number one, he’s a competitive guy we have no issues as far as him fitting in here with the group. No question he’s going to be hungry and I think whenever you look at your back end it’s a mix type thing. I think it’s things that he can bring to us. He’s very mobile, and even though he’s not big he sure when he competes. He’s a smart player. A mix of seven that we have is something that we thought was a chance to upgrade this team.”
On previously sounding unsure about whether the team could do anything, given the uncertainty with their cap dollars due to the Slava Voynov situation:
“I don’t think anything changed, it’s just that we had to evaluate and analyze a lot of things. I think having worked through the process that we’re comfortable making a deal at this time. It’s not so much as things change but I think a lot of things, there’s a lot of moving parts here. I think obviously, couple of things, I mean the one thing about this team, I think from what they’ve accomplished the last three years and in a way they appear to be responding here in the last couple weeks, I think that you it almost the players dictate a lot what you do.
“Given what they have accomplished, and the way they’ve responded here, you sit in this seat here and it’s easy to say, ‘You know what, let’s get aggressive here’ and make this team better,’ just as we expect them to make themselves better. Factoring that into the price we paid, yes, it’s a steep price. Factor it into the things we had to analyze with Voynov and things but when it comes down to it, it comes down to the players. If this, you know given how far they’ve gone the last three years and the way they respond to adversity, I think that lends itself to being more aggressive, if this was a team that maybe had gone in the first round the last couple of years or whatever, you’d back off. I think, I don’t want to say it, I don’t know if it’s the right word but what they’ve accomplished and the way they keep fight through its’ almost like you owe it to them. I think that’s what your level of aggressiveness gets in terms of what you pay and the moving parts that are involved overall, you know, in terms of the Voynov situation. You can almost blame the players, if they hadn’t done what they’ve done in the last three years I don’t think you know, I think they deserve it. “
On Sekera being a left shot, yet possibly playing on the right side:
“Yeah, we’ve kind of looked at that. He actually played that side, he was paired with Robyn [Regehr] when they were in Buffalo. Both him and Marty have the ability to move over there as we’ve seen in the past. “
On if he sees a scenario where Voynov could come back and be a part of the team this year:
“It’s hard, it’s like a chemistry project. It is fair to say that we don’t have a lot of, it is very uncertain and that’s what lends itself to having ” X, Y, Z” on the board here. So, no, but as a practical matter we don’t have an idea, any clearer than you and obviously you kinda do some work and get a feel for it, but as a practical matter we don’t have any more insight to what’s going to happen there as you do.”
On if getting an extension done with Sekera is something they’ll pursue now or wait:
“I don’t know, I wouldn’t say that. It’s similar to like when we did Gaborik. That would have been a he came in, in the last year of his deal, and we were able to see where it all fits. I don’t feel heat there. I think as you’ve seen lately, we’ve been focusing on our own and making sure we keep that group of the younger players together. It certainly doesn’t rule it out there down the road, but I don’t think it’s something that’s right away. It’s similar to Gaborik, we didn’t feel like we were under the gun.”
On if Alec Martinez’s recent injury helped push this deal along:
“I think it’s fair to say that we were… I think our focus, even when everybody was healthy, we were always kind of looking at that hole [on defense]. This was something we had been looking at prior to Marty getting hurt… Injuries are going to happen. Just like last year, when we lost Robyn for a big part of the playoffs, and things like that. To say it was triggered because of Marty? No, not at all. This is something we’ve been looking at as we monitored the Voynov situation all year.”
On if teams like Chicago, with their recently added cap space, helped push the deal to get done today:
“Not really. We had been talking about this. That’s the way, generally, these deals go. I started talking about Gaborik last year in December. So, this has been an ongoing thing. The person holding the player essentially controls when it happens. You know they were very forthright through the whole process about what it would probably take and also from our end and in the end I don’t have any control over that. Like I said, the way Carolina conducted the whole thing it didn’t surprise me. Generally, when you get into these things, you have a pretty good idea where that price is going to go. It didn’t surprise me where it [cost us in the end].”
On if there is a contingency plan in place, should Voynov be reinstated:
“There are a number of moving parts that we’ve kind of looked at. I wouldn’t have the time, nor the [formulas] to explain it. Our formulas on the board look like they’re from a physics project.”
On the Clifford negotiations taking a positive turn yesterday afternoon:
“I think Sully started talking when we were in Tampa Bay, his agent was there. I think it was just a process, and as you get closer to the end of the process, maybe it accelerates because you kind of have more of a meeting of the minds. [Clifford] and Jordan [Nolan] are a big part of this team. They’re a big part of the identity of this team. They don’t get a lot of fanfare and they’re not fancy, but they’re awfully hard to play against.”
On if Tanner Pearson could possibly return before the end of the regular season:
“It’s possible. We’ve seen that with a lot of these young kids. They get better fast. He’s been working really hard. That’s one thing about being young, they seem to heal quicker. Barring any complications, which I don’t foresee right now with the way he’s progressing, I think there’s a shot.”
Part one with Lombardi was posted here. In that section he talked about how the Kings turned things around recently.
Then, in part two, posted here, Lombardi spoke about other possible moves before the trade deadline.
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