Lombardi – ‘Without Toffoli Signing, Couldn’t Have Made This Trade’

More from Kings GM Dean Lombardi regarding today’s trade for left wing Milan Lucic…

On acquiring a player who only has one year left on his contract:

“I think, given the fit, it made sense to push the envelope. We were able to pull this off – and we need a backup goalie now and we’ll probably still end up with one forward space [to solve for] – and that’s pretty good, considering the predicament we were in; to be able to improve the team and still have some [cap] space. We’ll see how that works out.

“You know what I think, as far as this group. These guys like each other, and I think we’ve got an environment where guys want to stay and have a chance to win. So, we’ll see how it works out. There are some preliminary projections on next year’s [salary] cap.

“I have to say, our first priority, in terms of signing [players to new contracts] now, is Kopitar. The other thing I’d say about this, that shows this team cares about winning, is what Tyler Toffoli did [signing a two-year bridge deal, worth $6.5 million]. It shows how everything ties together. With the threat of offer sheets and everything out there, the way Toffoli just handled his situation Toffoli WCF Kings Blackhawkswas exemplary; in terms of pay. A lot of the kids you see in this situation – this is a top young player – he could wait for an offer sheet, he could demand $6 million in a long-term deal, or hold out and everything. We talked to him, and it’s certainly a fair deal, it’s still a good deal for him, but in no way did he say, ‘I’m going to hold anybody hostage,’ like you see going on out there. If Tyler Toffoli doesn’t step up and do this, we can’t do this [Lucic] deal. Then we would have exposed ourselves to an offer sheet. It’s just exemplary for a young player, to realize his time will come and take a good deal but not try to shoot for the moon. Then, the team is allowed to go out and make itself better. Once this [trade] got rolling, it was not doable without Tyler signing. If we had done this without Tyler signing, we were exposed to an offer sheet because then it would have been more involved. It’s a great example of guys caring about the right things. They’ll get their money when the time comes.”

Lombardi spoke more about the Lucic trade, and what it cost the Kings, here.

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