Full-on Front [office]
Thursday presented viewers with a healthy dose of confidence and McDonald’s ad-placements.
The green light’s on. Kings’ brass made it well-known during Thursday’s press conference at Staples Center that they’re in a full-fledged and conjoined effort to maintain the success the franchise flourished in last season.
Kings’ Governor Tim Leiweke and General Manager Dean Lombardi flashed an attitude resembling confidence that topped any seen from either of the team’s higher-ups in their tenures in Los Angeles.
You’ve got to flex the success a bit, it’s the high life. When you have confidence, you use your assets intelligently, yet boldly. And you state it publicly. Tim Leiweke and Dean Lombardi are willing to dish out the maximum amount of money allowed to bring another Stanley Cup championship to Los Angeles.
Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period Magazine popped the tantalizing question during Thursday’s presser regarding the Kings willingness to spend to the cap-limit this season.
It was a one-word response from Dean Lombardi. “Yes.”
One-word answers mean you’re sure.
No one on the roster is being dangled at the moment, not even backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier. There is absolutely no sense in dealing Bernier right now, especially with Jonathan Quick undergoing offseason back surgery. He’s simply too valuable to the Kings, and yes, that value could eventually turn into a trade – but don’t expect anything until this season’s revised trade-deadline.
Consider Leiweke and Lombardi’s assets to be insurance in case the Kings find themselves struggling for a postseason spot come March.
Everything’s in the Kings hands right now, everything.
This all tags along with the every player from last season’s roster returning, which has never once happened to an NHL team coming off of a Stanley Cup victory. And there’s so much more.
Put ‘em up
Sutter for another: The most crucial person, who undoubtedly proved to be the most vital off the ice last season, is head coach Darryl Sutter. There’s no questioning the miraculous effect he had on this Kings roster.
The replacement for former coach Terry Murray was made on December 17th of last season. This gave Darryl Sutter 49 regular season games to make a difference, which he did, leading the Kings to a 25-13-11 record, and ultimately pushing them to a Stanley Cup championship.
How ironic, because Darryl Sutter will have 48 regular season games to make magic with this Kings roster again, just one-less contest than he had with this club last year prior to the postseason. And, instead of doing it with a beleaguered team with a mediocre record, it’s a fresh start this time around.
And even more ironic, Darryl Sutter is the only current NHL head coach to have been at the helm of a bench during the 1994-’95 NHL season, which also saw a lockout minimize the season to 48 games. Sutter was the head coach for the New Jersey Devils that season, and triggered great success until falling in the Western Conference Finals to the Detroit Red Wings.
He knows the shortened-season drill, and has the comfort of doing it again with the exact same roster he revitalized into capturing glory in one of the most impressive turnarounds and postseason runs in sports history.
This, thanks to Dean Lombardi, who pulled the trigger at the right time, with the right guy.
And, it’s not the first time for the Kings’ GM.
Luc Robitaille talked about some McDonald’s stuff.
He also said every fan in attendance on Saturday afternoon at Staples Center will get a replica Stanley Cup championship ring and banner.
It’s the Chicago Blackhawks next Saturday at 12:00PM.
This bodes well for the screaming hangover Patrick Kane will probably have.
Be up early, folks.
We’ll have a Chicago Blackhawks preview, along with other Kings notes leading up to puck-drop next Saturday.