Kings GM Dean Lombardi is hoping he’s found the cure for a Stanley Cup hangover.
If he hasn’t, it won’t be for a lack of searching.
“I talked to a number of teams, whether it was the 49ers, Yankees, Patriots, teams that were dynasties, and wanted to know what they did after the first year they won,” Lombardi told ESPN.com. “I found so many different schools of thought.”
Lombardi was especially impressed with former 49ers cornerback/safety Ronnie Lott, who won four Super Bowls in San Francisco.
The 49ers followed up their first title with a 3-6 record in the strike-shortened 1982 season, so obviously Lombardi was eager to know what they did wrong there.
Ultimately he believes he’ll have to keep reminding the Kings how good it felt to win in order to keep them motivated.
The last team to win the Cup in consecutive seasons was Detroit in 1997 and 1998.
For what it’s worth, I think these are two big keys to mitigating Cup hangovers:
First, find a way to keep your good players (seems obvious, but hard to do in a cap system. See: Chicago Blackhawks).
Second, maintain a fresh supply of players who are individually motivated, whether that’s youngsters who haven’t made their marks, a veteran that wasn’t with the club the previous season, or even guys in contract years.