Lombardi, on improving the roster - LA Kings Insider

Question: At the end of the previous two seasons, you said the main focus was for the young players to improve. In terms of improving the team, how much is that still the case, and how much do you need to go outside and look for help?

LOMBARDI: “I sill think that’s a huge thing. Don’t forget, the playoff game is totally a different animal. But again, in the regular season, it’s putting yourself in the hole, it’s playing withe expectations, playing with pressure. Even with Kopitar. I remember, during the season, the way he competed with one-goal leads, the way he played at the ends of some games. It said, `We’re going to win this game.’ You could just see where this guy said, `We will not lose this game.’ So that stride is huge. But you saw situations, like on the power play, where your most talented players are your youngest players. It’s the maturity of learning to rise to the occasion. They’re the ones who are going to have to learn it. That’s a great experience for them. That said, it’s still the same. I’m going to look. As long as we feel with our defense, and I think we do, as we saw in the regular season, is still capable of being the best — and the goaltending is solid — I’m going to continue to address what I tried to address at the trade deadline and what I tried to address in the summer. But it’s (finding) the right guy. Like I said at the deadline, it’s the same issue. I’m not trading Schenn for a guy with one year left on his contract. That’s the point. So you’re going to be in the same marketplace. The only thing is, in the summer you might get a different clientele, so to speak, with what might be available. I think that could change the dynamic, with what I’m willing to do.

“But if it’s the same thing as at the deadline, where it’s guys with one year left on their deal, and they insist on my top prospect, I’m not going that route. We’ll just make those two kids better. They’re probably our best offensive prospects, in Loktionov and Schenn, and they need a huge summer. But in terms of the continuing to look for a certain type of player, yeah, but it has to be the right guy and the right situation. We’ve had this for 12 months, haven’t we? The whole Kovalchuk thing. His minus-26 would have looked good. Then the trade deadline. What was available, for what they wanted, it didn’t make sense.”

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.