"Those days have been absolutely critical to what I've been able to accomplish in L.A.," Lombardi said. "I was very fortunate to learn from some great people like Bill Torrey, Harry Sinden and my greatest influence, Lou Lamoriello. These guys and many of the GMs were great taking me aside and showing me the ropes. Cliff Fletcher was also good to me. But to me, Lou was probably the most critical to my growth."
Lombardi recalled the time Lamoriello sat him down in his office and taught him all he could.
"It was a bit intimidating when you get hired and go see Lou Lamoriello in his office," Lombardi said. "He sat with me for four hours and taught me how to set up an infrastructure to make sure people are in the right roles and to make sure you have a plan. He really guided me in the right direction when we were going through a tough time.
"A lot of people were influential, but a guy like Lamoriello, you couldn't find a better guy. Oh, and by the way, he missed his team flight to finish this lecture with me.
"His record speaks for itself. I will never forget the advice he gave me and it was all about being prepared, being focused and sticking to your guns. If you are going to do it right, you are going to be criticized. There's a lot you may be doing right that people won't see so the fans and the media, they will criticize what they see and you need to be tough and take it."
As Lombardi pointed out, the successful teams -- both before the lockout and after -- always had solid infrastructures.
"When GMs take over a building process, people don't understand the importance of the infrastructure. And if you look at teams like the Devils and the Red Wings, that infrastructure has been together for years. You see there has never been a circus behind the scenes; there is unity with that entire infrastructure. You need to have people in specific roles doing their jobs simultaneously.
"Without this you will never win. And that is something Lou really taught me. I am forever in debt to him. We still bounce ideas off each other, but that time … it was so amazing to be able to learn from a guy like Lou."
Lou also helped Snow get aquainted with his new gig. Not to the extent that he helped Burke and Lombardi, but still.