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Kings extend Lombardi and Murray

NHL.com @NHL
The team that helped Los Angeles Kings to their first playoff appearance in eight years will be in L.A. for a while longer.

The Kings announced late Wednesday that they've signed General Manager Dean Lombardi and coach Terry Murray to two-year contract extensions through the 2012-13 season. A team spokesman said the Kings also gave two-year extensions to assistant general manager Ron Hextall and hockey operations vice president Jeff Solomon and signed former Flyers coach John Stevens to a three-year contract as an assistant to Murray. Stevens replaces Mark Hardy, who resigned earlier this month.

Lombardi, Murray, Hextall and Solomon each had one year remaining on their contracts, but were rewarded for the turnaround they've engineered in L.A. The Kings made the playoffs this spring for the first time since 2002 and tied the franchise record with 46 victories. They finished sixth in the Western Conference and lost to Vancouver in the first round of the playoffs.

Lombardi, the former GM of the San Jose Sharks, took over the Kings in April 2006 and has steadily built the team into a contender with solid top-line young talent and an improved farm system. He used the second pick in the 2008 Entry Draft to take Drew Doughty, already a Norris Trophy finalist at age 20, and last summer acquired veteran Ryan Smyth, who played a major role in the Kings' improvement this past season.

Prior to the 2008-09 season, Lombardi also hired Murray, who turns 60 next month, to develop his team's young talent. Murray, who has coached in Washington, Philadelphia and Florida, is 80-64-20 in two seasons with L.A. The Kings' 101 points this past season was the third-most in franchise history.

Stevens spent parts of the past four seasons running the Flyers, going 120-109-34 and taking Philadelphia from the NHL's worst record in 2006-07 to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2007-08. He was fired last Dec. 4 after a slow start and replaced by Peter Laviolette, who led Philadelphia to the Stanley Cup Final.
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