Dean Lombardi joined the Kings in Florida, after a trip to see the Manchester Monarchs for a few days. Lombardi’s attention, of course, will be focused on the trade deadline, three weeks from today. As typical with any general manager, Lombardi wouldn’t publicly tip his hand in terms of who he might seek or what he might give up, but it doesn’t take a coulomb specialist to know that Lombardi will be looking for a forward or two. The questions are, what is out there and what is Lombardi willing to give up?

The irony of the trade deadline is that the more-productive trades are usually made during the summer, not in the panic-driven market of February. That said, the Kings can’t afford to wait. The first line of Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Justin Williams has been productive, as has Mike Richards at times. After that, though, there’s a steep fall-off, and Lombardi’s moves over the past calendar year haven’t paid off. Dustin Penner, last year’s trade-deadline acquisition, hasn’t worked. (A move, mind you, that had the approval of more than 95 percent of voters on this blog.) Simon Gagne got hurt, Scott Parse got hurt, Trent Hunter hasn’t produced much and Ethan Moreau is gone. The Kings needed two of those guys to pan out, and none have. The question now is, can the Kings address their needs at the trade deadline? I asked Lombardi whether the dynamics of the deadline will allow the Kings to significantly improve…

LOMBARDI: “As the season moves along, people have a better handle on which direction they want to go. There’s two things that can happen. One, obviously, is a team just strictly downsizing, like we did five years ago, and just saying, `Let’s get picks.’ Secondly, you might have a philosophical change and just say, `It’s not a downsizing, per se, but we want a change to change the structure of our roster.’ So it’s not a rental, per se. It’s different. I think, as the deadline gets closer, it’s not about the deadline. It’s that more teams realize what they have or don’t have. They take into consideration how many injuries they have, and say, `If we get guys back, we’re OK,’ or they say, `We’ve got to look at upgrading our back end.’ And the rentals are always going to be there.

“The question about the rentals is just the price. If you look back, and you take all the deadline deals — just look at them and line them up — you’ve got all kinds of juice on deadline day, but how many of them have really effected the team? There’s this perception of all this juice and action, then you look at what really happens. Last year, arguably, we got one of the top players. How many players had average 25 goals? That was, `Wow, that was a big deal.’ In terms of the rentals, that’s always going to be there. As a practical matter, we don’t have a second and a third (round draft picks). Manchester is still a very young team, but you always have to be cognizant that (new) guys are coming through.’’

Question: So, as you look at it, it’s still a matter of finding the right fit?

LOMBARDI: “It’s being cognizant of knowing what we’ve got coming and knowing what we’ve got now. It’s knowing who we’ve got coming and who is going to help this team next year, and making (a potential move) fit with that. With a rental, you can say, `I don’t care if it doesn’t fit with these kids that are coming,’ but with other (trades), it’s, `OK, let’s trend this way.’’’

Question: But how patient can you afford to be? What if the only real option is a player who doesn’t necessarily “fit’’ with other things?

LOMBARDI: “I don’t have a problem with that. But as far as what’s out there, it’s like I said. There are probably seven or eight out there, but out of them, the ones that will be there as rentals, one of them will probably hit. Those are usually the ones that go to a really good team and don’t have to carry the mail.’’

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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

Bio

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.

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Drew Doughty

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

Bio

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.

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Tyler Toffoli

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

Bio

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Jeff Carter

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

Bio

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Jonathan Quick

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

Bio

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.

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