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Helene Elliott Loses (more) Patience with Dean Lombardi

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Trading deadline gets general managers going, or in case of Kings, not going - latimes.com
A general manager identifies a need for a productive left winger. He decides to trade a valuable asset to fill that need but gives his team a better chance to go deep in the playoffs this season and in the future. Congratulations, Ray Shero of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

What, you thought it might be Kings GM Dean Lombardi shaking off his paralysis by analysis?

While the Kings sit outside the top eight in the West --

The Kings are in a five-way tie for 7th in the West, 2 points out of 5th, 5 points out of 1st in the division, with a game in hand. But whatever.

-- and Lombardi dithers about filling a hole he recognized last summer --

Dithers implies either fear or indecisiveness, neither of which describes Lombardi very well. If anything, he's entrenched in his own philosophy and stubborn about stepping outside of it. Which of course you would want to be, if you believed in yourself and had the courage of your convictions. All of which is the opposite of indecisive.

Does she understand she's put-out because Lombardi isn't desperate and/or panicky enough for her?

-- Shero's Penguins on Monday acquired power forward James Neal — a three-time 20-goal scorer [...] It's a great deal for the Penguins, who lost Sidney Crosby indefinitely to a concussion and Evgeni Malkin to season-ending knee surgery.

Gee, I wonder how excited Dallas would have been about trading within their division to the Kings, so Neal could make the Stars look bad six times a year.

[...] The Kings, who were interested in Neal but not at the cost of a top defenseman --

Can you imagine: "The Kings have traded Jack Johnson to Dallas for three-time 20 goal scorer James Neal." (Or, substitute Voynov and Muzzin or Voynov and Hickey.)  People would be demanding Lombardi's head on a plate.

-- have looked at Florida's David Booth and Edmonton's Ales Hemsky but have made it known they won't trade prospect Brayden Schenn.

Right, because that would be insane.

It would be surprising if Lombardi does anything bigger than his usual and [sic] tedious mid-range deals.

Examples of tedious mid-range deals of the past: Patrick O'Sullivan for Justin Williams, which was a home run for the Kings. And about which, Elliott said at the time, something about Williams being short, and this:

At trading deadline, Ducks stay in the hunt as Kings stay out of it - Los Angeles Times
The Ducks became deeper up the middle and on defense in the frantic hours before Wednesday's trading deadline[...]. The Kings' lone deal brought them right wing Justin Williams, on injured reserve because of a broken finger. To acquire him from Carolina, they gave up 24-year-old Patrick O'Sullivan, who scored 22 goals on a terrible team last season and has produced at every level, and a second-round draft pick. [...] The Kings' trade said fans who have endured four decades without a Cup title will have to wait again. Wait two weeks to see Williams, twice a 30-goal scorer but a victim of knee, Achilles' tendon and hand injuries the last two seasons. Wait until next season for the team's first playoff berth since 2002. Wait for a day that never seems in sight.

[Note what amounts to the same headline as today's article. Nice]

Other examples of tedious Lombardi trades:

  • Ryan Smyth acquired for Kyle Quincey and Tom Preissing.
  • Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene acquired for Lubomir Visnovsky.
  • Jack Johnson acquired for Tim Gleason and Eric Belanger.
  • Trevor Lewis and Patrick O'Sullivan (see Justin Williams) for Pavol Demitra
  • Fredrik Modin acquired for a conditional pick, the condition being the 210th pick if the Kings win the cup.
  • Oscar Moller, via pick acquired in Norstrom trade. 
  • Colten Teubert and Nicolas Deslauriers*, via picks acquired in Norstrom and Mike Cammalleri trades. 
  • Wayne Simmonds, via pick acquired for Brent Sopel
  • Marc-Andre Cliche acquired for Sean Avery
  • Brad Richardson for a pick. 
  • Marco Sturm for...nothing.
  • Sean O`Donnell for...nothing again.
Or, if you want to think about it as one big trade (I've omitted players who walks -- Modin, O'Donnell -- or who no longer play in the NHL -- Preissing, Demitra):

Kings get: Justin Williams, Ryan Smyth, Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene, Jack Johnson, Wayne Simmonds, Marco Sturm, Trevor Lewis, Brad Richardson, Oscar Moller, Colten Teubert, Nicolas Deslauriers and Marc-Andre Cliche.

Kings give up: Mike Cammalleri, Lubomir Visnovsky, Kyle Quincey, Brent Sopel, Sean Avery, Tim Gleason and Eric Belanger.

*Deslauriers is my favorite under-the-radar prospect right now. Might be the answer to the age-old riddle: "Who will make the biggest impact on the Kings, Thomas Hickey or Viatcheslav Voynov?" 

Lombardi acquired 7 of the Kings current top 12 forwards (Smyth, Williams, Stoll, Sturm, Simmonds, Lewis -- only Kopitar, Brown, Handzus, Westgarth and Clifford did not come from a Lombardi trade), two core defensemen and at least two and maybe three blue-chip prospects...for exactly one player (okay, maybe two) we could actually use right now, if only personality transplants were possible.

Boooooooooorrrrrrrrring.