Kings general manager Dean Lombardi insists he didn’t trade for Jeff Carter out of desperation.
Nope, it was all part of the plan.
“We were always looking for another high-scoring winger, even when it came up with Carter, it wasn’t just a panic move,” Lombardi said yesterday. “From the plan perspective, I never doubted we were on the right track.”
You’d be forgiven for rolling your eyes.
When Carter – along with his oft-questioned attitude, history of foot injuries, and big, long contract – was acquired from Columbus on Feb. 23, the Kings had lost four in a row and eight of their last 10. They were the NHL’s lowest-scoring team and battling with Calgary, Dallas and Colorado for the eighth and final playoff spot.
In other words, panic would’ve been justified for Lombardi, who many believed could be fired if his team with the big payroll missed the postseason.
“There certainly were some points near the end [of the season] where it got a little dicey,” he admitted.
But it wasn’t a panic move.