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

Lombardi on waiving Richards: ‘These are the tough decisions you’ve got to make’

Dean Lombardi

L.A. Kings’ general manager Dean Lombardi pointed to loyalty as one of the reasons it took until Monday to place Mike Richards on waivers.

“If you’re going to expect loyalty from your players, then you, at times, have to show loyalty to them,” Lombardi told reporters. “Under the circumstances, with what he had done for us, I thought he deserved a chance to get back to where he knows he’s capable of.”

Richards still has five years remaining on his 12-year, $69 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $5.75 million.

“You think about it and you work through the process,” said Lombardi. “I think it’s fair to say that we made a final decision on this, that we were one way or another going to (make a move) after the All-Star break.”

“I’m sure it’s not easy on anybody, but these are the tough decisions you’ve got to make.”

The 29-year-old’s production has dropped off significantly in recent years.

However, Lombardi pointed to Richards being a crucial element of the 2012 Stanley Cup victory as a reason for hanging on to the Ontario native.

Richards scored 18 goals and 44 points to go along with a plus-3 rating and an average of 18:53 in ice time in 74 games during the 2011-12 regular season. He added 15 points in 20 games as the Kings captured their first Stanley cup in franchise history.

“I don’t think there’s any question, we don’t win that first Cup without what he did for this team,” said Lombardi.

Last season, Richards scored 11 goals and 41 points in 82 games while registering a minus-6 rating and averaging 16:59 in ice time.

In 47 games this season, he has five goals, 15 points and a minus-7 rating while averaging a career-low 13:42 in ice time.

“Mike, in his career, has shown he can be a .330 hitter and get you 80 RBIs and be an All-Star player,” said Lombardi. “So maybe at this stage, maybe it’s not there, but I certainly think he’s capable of being a .280 hitter and do a lot of those things that only he can do. Let’s face it, right now he’s batting .200.

“It’s up to Mike. I believe that if he wants to, that he can get back to that. I see no reason why not, but it’s going to be up to him.’’

The Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs have expressed interest in Richards previously; however, he is expected to clear waivers on Tuesday. According to the Orange County Register, Lombardi believes Richards will report to the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs.

Richards has never appeared in a regular season AHL game in his career.

He played 14 playoff games with the Philadelphia Phantoms during the 2004-05 season following his final year of junior with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers.

Report: Kings receiving interest in Nolan

Jordan Nolan

The L.A. Kings may not be in a hurry to spend the cap relief received from Slava Voynov; however, they have reportedly been receiving calls on the availability of Jordan Nolan.

According to hockey insider Bob McKenzie, a number of Eastern Conference teams have called Kings GM Dean Lombardi to inquire about the availability of Nolan.

Nolan, 25, has appeared in just 13 games for the Kings this season. He missed two games due to a suspension, but has been a healthy scratch in five games, including the last three, entering Tuesday night’s action against the Nashville Predators.

He has a minus-2 rating and four penalty minutes while averaging 9:17 in ice time this season.

McKenzie reports the Kings aren’t in a hurry to deal Nolan, but should the right defenseman be offered, Lombardi may listen.