Evaluation: Dean Lombardi - LA Kings Insider

This season: 40-27-15 record, 16-4 in playoffs.
The good: After back-to-back playoff appearances, Lombardi could have taken a “stay the course’’ attitude and simply hoped his young team would develop on its own. Instead, last June, he made a bold move for Mike Richards, and also acquiesced to Ryan Smyth’s trade request and made a deal with Edmonton that freed up significant salary-cap space. With the Kings looking as though they were circling the drain in February, Lombardi called up Dwight King and Jordan Nolan, then made a trade for Jeff Carter. That series of moves put the Kings in position to win the Stanley Cup.
The bad: The Kings finished the regular season with 95 points, just five points ahead of ninth-place Calgary in the Western Conference. If things had broken slightly differently, the Flames would have made the playoffs and, quite possibly, the Kings would be breaking in a new general manager right now. Given all the patience and investment, it’s doubtful that Kings management/ownership would have tolerated a step backward from this team. Lombardi bought himself a substantial grace period by winning the Cup, but will the Kings now take the next step to be a year-in, year-out contender?
Going forward: On paper, it looks good. Over the last couple years, Lombardi and staff have methodically locked up key young players to long-term contracts, while still leaving room for additions. This summer, for instance, he kept everyone under contract but still had enough room to take a swing at a player such as Zach Parise or Shane Doan. Lombardi’s goal is to build a long-term winner, in the vein of the Detroit Red Wings. That will be difficult, because it requires a lot of good fortune, but if the Kings, individually, can play to their potential, the team has a chance to be a winner for years to come.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

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.

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.