Part II - GM
The reason why I decided to write about these topics is because of a recent column I read at hockeybuzz.com by Carla Muller. She wrote about an article she came across on foxsports.com mentioning rumors of Luc Robitalle filling in Dean Lombardi’s shoes as GM. My stance on most issues is mild at best (because I don’t want to foolishly make an uneducated opinion), but I definitely would not be an advocate for this happening. As as fan who is taking in (as much as possible) everything the Kings organization are putting out to the fans, I’m liking what I see. This is specifically referring to Robitaille becoming President of the business operations. But let me look at DL for a second.
If you check out his Wikipedia page, it appears that DL knows what the hell he's doing. He built up the Sharks into what they are today, a hated contender in the Western Conference. The players that he drafted before the lockout developed and made up the power house that they were 2-3 years ago causing them to be constant thorns in my side. I was a personal witness to many of their games, not that I enjoyed it, but I couldn't deny them their efforts. Now I don't know what DL is like in person, he could be a douche or he could be the kindest man ever, what I do know is that he's already building this team to something.
If you look at a previous post, you can see that there is a core that's being formed involving specific players. And what I think is promising is that this core does not include Cammy or Fro. These two are expected to be the veterans once this Core 4 begins to dominate. There is a lot that's going on within the team roster right now, which doesn't include the players developing in Manchester (and Bernier out in Lewiston). From an interview at Inside The Kings, DL said he drove 6 hours to see how Bernier was doing out in Lewiston. 6 hours of driving! If you don’t think that’s dedication, then you need to open your eyes. Lombardi has a plan and it’s not some one-year plan either. If you take him out of the equation, what’s going to happen to the developing players that are in the system? Are they going to be brought up prematurely or moved to some other team? My "Baby Bernier Watch" is on here for a reason. It’s not because I think he’s a cutie pie, which I’m sure every girl will tell you that he is. It's here because I believe he has the potential to rock the net when he’s good and ready to play a full season for the Kings. But I will not be hesitant to say that the players have to f-ing protect their goalie. The games at the beginning of this season were lost not because of Bernier’s poor playing; it was because he wasn’t protected! I can’t tell you how difficult it was to watch the defensemen not blocking shots for him or not cutting off the passing lane for him. Overall, they just were not acting like a cohesive unit. You can’t throw a 19-year-old goalie out there and expect him to be like Roy in his prime! It doesn’t work like that! Sorry, I think I stepped on my little soap box unknowingly...
In moving from DL to Robitaille, I think Lucky is doing a FANTASTIC job on the business relations end of the spectrum. He is one of THE faces of the LA Kings and I would be shocked if he didn’t stick with this job for a number of years. He is one of those franchise players that needs to be in this type of position, which enables him to be accessible to the fans while working toward the betterment of this organization. I don’t think he would be the best fit as a replacement GM. I don't know all of the inner workings of what GMs have to do, but I will say that I think Lombardi knows exactly what he's doing and how the Kings should be building. And I am a complete advocate in keeping Robitaille as the public face of the organization to the 20 million people living in Los Angeles. You can’t deny the draw that Lucky has; in knowing this, why would you put him in the GM position to face the wolves. He's already doing a hell of a job wooing the crowds now. I think maybe it's the fact that he's the highest scoring left-wing in the entire NHL. But what do I know, I'm just a girl.
Conclusion: I want to see what DL has up his sleeves and I love seeing Robitaille in this position, which keeps him visible to the fans. I’d rather not see a front office shakeup right now, but if that’s what the Higher Ups want…
Follow up: 12.07.07 : I found this over at The Hockey News, an article titled "All The Kings Mistakes." Could this guy have presented more lopsided stats? In order for me to even consider this guy as reliable, he probably should have presented the numbers in a more complete manner. He is basically letting you all know what he thinks of DL. Below was copied and pasted from this article.
Here’s a list of L.A.’s top five scorers so far this year and five of their worst regular roster players (from a statistical perspective). Some were brought in by Lombardi, some by former GM Dave Taylor, Deduce the trend.
Anze Kopitar, 29 points (drafted by Taylor)
Mike Cammalleri. 25 points (drafted by Taylor)
Dustin Brown, 24 points (drafted by Taylor)
Alexander Frolov, 20 points (drafted by Taylor)
Lubomir Visnovsky, 16 points (drafted by Taylor)
Michal Handzus, 5 points, minus-11 (signed by Lombardi)
Rob Blake, minus-11 (signed by Lombardi)
Brian Willsie, 4 points, minus-7 (signed by Lombardi)
Patrick O’Sullivan, minus-7 (acquired by Lombardi)
Brad Stuart, minus-10 (signed by Lombardi)
Now, the resurgent Flyers:
Michael Richards, 31 points (drafted by Clarke)
Daniel Briere, 30 points (signed by Holmgren)
Joffrey Lupul, 17 points (acquired by Holmgren)
Mike Knuble, 16 points (signed by Clarke)
Jeff Carter, 15 points (drafted by Clarke)
Let me ask you this, Mr. Ryan Kennedy. Where are the plus/minus numbers for the first and third group of players? What are the point totals for all of the players in the second group? Where are the guys that Taylor signed and Lombardi drafted (P.S. These guys are kinda kicking a lot of ass right now). When you're trying to present an argument or trying to raise some eyebrows, why don't you give up ALL of the numbers. Thanks.