LA Kings general manager Dean Lombardi conducted an interesting Q&A with Darryl Evans of Kings Vision this afternoon. It gets compelling around the 1:10 mark, when Evans asks Lombardi if he saw signs that things were going the wrong way:
That quote again, in case you missed it:
I think a lot of this fallout right now is mental. When you heighten the expectations on a team it’s a whole different mindset, and when you don’t look like you can reach that bar you start wallowing in bewilderment.
You can sense it’s put-up-or-shut-up time as Lombardi’s exhausted nearly all his managerial options. He made a trade deadline deal (Dustin Penner), a blockbuster deal (Mike Richards), swung big in free agency (Simon Gagne), sent a message to the veterans (by waiving Ethan Moreau) and will reportedly replace a player-friendly coach with an authoritarian (Darryl Sutter).
If the Kings fail to turn things around, big questions will have to be asked about the core group of players — because shaking up L.A.’s core is really the only move Lombardi has left.