The chat with Dean Lombardi got delayed by 21 hours, largely because of the amount of activity in the Kings’ offices yesterday. With a big chunk of the organization set to leave Monday for Minnesota to prepare for the NHL Draft, there were a lot of last-minute discussions and planning. I was, however, able to get some time with Lombardi today and chat about some of the relevant topics. I’ll have the full interview on Monday, but for now, here are some of the highlights of what was discussed…
– The Kings, whose first pick in the draft is scheduled to be No. 49, would consider options to trade back into the first round but only for a deal that makes sense, not just for the sake of it. This year’s first round is not considered especially deep.
– Within the past few days, the Kings have made a “major” offer to Drew Doughty’s agent. Lombardi has made two trips to Toronto — location of the office of Don Meehan’s, Doughty’s agent — within the past four weeks, and the Kings would like to get a deal done before the draft, if possible. Lombardi said he is certainly aware of the risk of an offer sheet to Doughty but is not overly concerned.
– The Kings are still in the market for a top-level forward, either through free agency or trade. Lombardi said that even if it was guaranteed that Dustin Penner would have a big season, statistically, the Kings would still seek outside help to improve their scoring numbers, both 5-and-5 and on the power play.
– Penner, Lombardi said, has been dedicated to working hard so far this summer, and Lombardi expressed optimism.
– Anze Kopitar is making great progress from his recovery from ankle surgery, Lombardi said, as is Justin Williams from his shoulder surgery. Willie Mitchell and Jonathan Quick also had minor medical procedures but will be ready for the start of training camp.
Much more on all of this to come…