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Cup-winning Kings Prepare for Shortest Offseason in Franchise History

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06-19-2012, 10:51 AM
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Cup-winning Kings Prepare for Shortest Offseason in Franchise History

Some great quotes in here:


A sampling:

"So many things, going through this, are new for us," Lombardi told NHL.com when asked about the shortest offseason in the franchise's 45-year history. "It really doesn't stop. Trust me …we'll gladly do it every year."

Unlike most Cup champions in the salary cap era, Los Angeles has a chance to retain the large majority of its team for at least another year. All of its defensemen are signed through next season, while Colin Fraser, Dustin Penner and Jarret Stoll are the only impending unrestricted free agents.

Lombardi said of the three forwards that they are "moving on that this week."

"We're more than capable of keeping this team together," Lombardi said. "[But] once they're together, that's not enough. It's a whole different mindset with the players having a shortened offseason.

"I'm going through the process. It's not only keeping them together. It's keeping that hunger and competitive drive. You look at the [Boston] Bruins. They didn't get going until December."

...there is now a winning culture in L.A., and players recognized it at last week's rally.

"It's something that Dean wanted to do," defenseman Matt Greene said. "Dean wanted to build a winner, and I think that's what everyone wants to do when they come into an organization. He did a good job. What's great is that he let guys grow up a little bit. I think the guys he had the year before – [Dustin Brown] and [Anze Kopitar] – those are the guys that carried us all the way through, and some of the draft picks like Quickie and [Drew Doughty]. It's awesome. Those guys are homegrown talent. Those guys are Kings for life.

"It would be awesome [to retain the team]. Hopefully I'm part of it, too. It's a great feeling knowing you're coming into next season locked and loaded and ready to do some damage."

Lombardi sees something different in his group.

"This is one of the closest teams I've ever had," he said. "These guys really care about each other. But sometimes success is more detrimental to a group than failure. You can't lose sight. The No. 1 thing about this team was its soul. It took a long time to get that."

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06-19-2012, 11:27 AM
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Of course that depends on IF/how long there is a lockout

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