Tag: Dean Lombardi

Tyler Toffoli, Gabriel Landeskog, Brad Stuart

Signing Toffoli and Jones a ‘priority’ for Kings


Dean Lombardi touched on a number of topics during a conference call on Tuesday. Among the issues the LA Kings GM discussed was his team’s number of free agents.

Lombardi said getting restricted free agents Tyler Toffoli and Martin Jones under contract was a priority for the club.

Toffoli set career highs in goals (23) assists (26) and points (49) in 76 games this season. The 23-year-old had a $716,666 cap hit in 2014-15.

Jones appeared in 15 games for the Kings this season posting a 4-5-2 record to go along with a 2.25 G.A.A. and a .906 save percentage. The 25-year-old sees his two-year, $1.1 million deal expire this year.

“We’re working toward, is signing Toffoli and Jones. That’s been our priority,” said Lombardi. “You saw, during the season, we were fortunate to get (Jordan) Nolan done and (Kyle) Clifford done and (Alec) Martinez and (Jake) Muzzin and (Tanner) Pearson.

“We want to finish that off, with those seven or eight players that are not even in their prime yet, to keep them in the fold. That’s something that we’re actively pursuing.’’

The Kings are also working on a deal with pending unrestricted free agent Andrej Sekera. The 28-year-old split the 2014-15 season between the Carolina Hurricanes and Kings scoring three goals and 23 points in 73 games while averaging nearly 22 minutes a night in ice time.

“Sekera, the only thing I can say is, I think we have — which is not always easy to get — the parameters of a number,” said Lombardi. “Often times, it’s hard to get a number, to see if you can plug it in. So I think we have the range that it would take (to sign him). Now have we countered with an offer yet? No. That’s all I can say on that one.

“I can say that I don’t think the number is outrageous. I think he’d like to stay here, so by virtue of that, you work at it and he ends up in some of your schematics there.”

The Kings also have to make decisions on the likes of Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams among others. The club also has to decide on what to do with Mike Richards who spent time in the American Hockey League this season.

As Rich Hammond outlines in his piece, Lombardi has a complicated list of scenarios to determine who will be back for the 2015-16 season.

Kings to educate players on domestic violence and drug abuse

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Media Day

Following a season, which saw two players arrested in a seven-month span, the L.A. Kings have decided to address the team’s off-ice issues.

“I think both incidents generated a lot of discussion during the year. Clearly at the meetings and the debriefing at the end of the year, it was the number-one topic, before we even got to the hockey,” said Kings GM Dean Lombardi on Tuesday via a conference call. “The first thing you look at is, were there any signs that we should have been aware of, in both of these incidents? You look at yourself, as managers and coaches. I think we were very good in terms of communicating with our players and go out of our way to try to know them personally, as human beings.

“I think it’s one of the reasons we’ve always had that kind of family effect around there. But clearly we could do more.”

In October defenseman Slava Voynov was arrested for domestic assault.

Then in April, Jarret Stoll was arrested for drug possession in Las Vegas.

“We neglected to educate our players,” said Lombardi. “We spend time teaching them systems, nutrition and everything else, but we missed a big step here, in terms of ensuring that they understand right and wrong.

“That has to be reinforced, not only as a human being but as somebody who is a representative of your community.”

Lombardi announced that former NBA player Chris Herren would talk to the players about drug abuse.

The club is also in the process of setting up a domestic violence group that will talk to the team.

Lombardi confirmed that he had met with Stoll following his arrest.

“It’s safe to say, in all honesty, it was probably the most difficult meeting I’ve had in my career,” said Lombardi. “Probably one of the most gut-wrenching meetings I’ve ever had in my entire career, and I’ve had meetings with lots of players.”

The 32-year-old, who was a part of both Stanley Cup wins, is a pending unrestricted free agent.

Voynov’s trial is scheduled to begin on July 6.

Kings’ Lombardi on Richards: ‘There’s very much a possibility he’ll be back’

CALGARY, AB - MARCH 10: Mike Richards #10 of the Los Angeles Kings in action against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on March 10, 2014 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Following his demotion to the American Hockey League in late January, Mike Richards has put together three goals and 14 points in 16 games with the Manchester Monarchs.

The production has Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi talking about a possible recall for the 30-year-old.

“We’re running him through some tests right now,” Lombardi told Sportsnet on Thursday. “I mean, the one thing about Michael everybody knows, when there’s big games or critical moments, he’s always there. And we just gotta get him up to that capacity to be able to do that.

“But there’s very much a possibility he’ll be back.”

Prior to being demoted, Richards was having one of the worst seasons of his career. He had just five goals and 15 points to go along with a minus-7 rating in 47 games while averaging a career-low 13:42 in ice time.

Richards carries a $5.75 million cap hit in the NHL and has another five seasons remaining on his deal.

If his AHL production can translate back to the NHL level it’d be beneficial for all parties involved.

“The only thing I can say about this group, it’s been a group that’s essentially been together now for five years and they never let themselves down, they never quit,” Lombardi said. “They almost like having their backs against the wall. The one way you’re able to sleep at night is you know they’re a group that cares.

“That’s our strongest asset in terms of this team is 20 guys who care about each other and either way you know they’re going to be out there fighting.”

Richards is certainly a part of that group and could be an asset if he can rediscover his game at the NHL level.

Related: Quick silences Canucks to push Kings into Wild Card spot