For three consecutive seasons, the Los Angeles Kings have finished out of the playoffs. If Dean Lombardi has anything to say about it, there won't be a fourth.
This off-season marks the dawn of a new era for the Kings and their fans. On April 21st, Lombardi became the eighth General Manager in the Kings' 39-year history, taking the wheel of the L.A. cruise ship with Lord Stanley's Cup as the destination. The shelf is hardly bare for Lombardi, with Kings leaders Mattias Norstrom, Craig Conroy, Pavol Demitra and Lubomir Visnovsky all scheduled to make return to the Los Angeles bench.
However, with a vacancy sign hanging on the door of the head coach's office and the draft on the horizon, it won't be long before Lombardi makes his mark on the Kings franchise.
An experienced hockey man, Lombardi, 45, has 18-years worth of NHL front office and scouting seasoning to rely on. Formerly the General Manager in San Jose, Lombardi was responsible for putting Jonathan Cheechoo, Patrick Marleau, Owen Nolan and Teemu Selanne in Sharks uniforms, as well as many others. Under Lombardi's watchful eye, the Sharks qualified for the playoffs for five straight seasons from 1997-02, including their 2000 first round playoff upset of No. 1 seed St. Louis as a No. 8 seed. Most recently, the Massachusetts-native had been serving as a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Have a question for the new Kings GM? Now is your chance to get it answered. E-mail Lombardi at firstname.lastname@example.org
. The Kings General Manager will answer your questions and lakings.com will post the answers next week.