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Is Dean Lombardi the Best Trade Deadline GM Ever?

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Reviewing Lombardi's Trade Deadline record in LA, from Sekera to Sopel

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

"Fool me once, shame on...shame on you. Fool me...You can't get fooled again!"

~NHL to Dean Lombardi

Dean Lombardi has a case for being the most successful Trade Deadline general manager ever. Since the first Deadline in 1980, no other multiple Stanley Cup-winning GM has impacted his eventual title teams more than once like DL:

GM Major Trade Deadline Acquisitions (Championship Year)
Dean Lombardi
Marian Gaborik (2014)
Jeff Carter (2012)
Ken Holland
Brad Stuart (2008)
Larry Murphy (1997)
Glen Sather
Geoff Courtnall (1988)
Bill Ranford (1988)
Kent Nilsson (1987)
Bill Torrey
Mike McEwen (1981)
Butch Goring (1980)

Sather's "against the clock" haul of talent might be comparable, but Courtnall and Ranford had little to no impact on the '88 Oilers postseason.

Going back to his San Jose days and the acquisition of Teemu Selanne, Lombardi has been no stranger to taking "big swings" at the Deadline. In that way, Wednesday's pick-up of prized defender Andrej Sekera was of no surprise.

Agree or disagree with some of Lombardi's Deadline moves, as we go through each of his LA transactions, you’ll see that by and large, he’s done well as both seller and buyer.

To that end, I count a Trade Deadline record of 7-2-9; that’s seven Wins, two Losses, and nine Washes/Undecideds. What’s your count?

A winning Trade Deadline record plus two Cups. After suffering through the George Maguire, Nick Beverley, and Sam McMaster tears, what more could Kings fans ask for?

Fine print: Any swap within about a week of that season’s Trade Deadline is counted. A "Win" trade for Los Angeles doesn’t necessarily mean a "Loss" for the opposing side; it can be a "Win-Win" trade. Special thanks to McSorley’s Stick, whose research was indispensable for this list:

February 25, 2015

Los Angeles Kings acquire: Andrej Sekera

Carolina Hurricanes acquire: Roland McKeown, Conditional 1st round pick

Verdict: Undecided, but a heavy price was paid for an excellent defender.

April 5, 2014

Los Angeles Kings: Marian Gaborik

Columbus Blue Jackets: Matt Frattin, 2014 3rd round pick (#63 Dominic Turgeon), 2015 2nd round pick

Verdict: Win?

April 5, 2014

Los Angeles Kings: Brayden McNabb, Jonathan Parker, 2014 2nd round pick (#60 Alex Lintuniemi), 2015 2nd round pick

Buffalo Sabres: Nicolas Deslauriers, Hudson Fasching

Verdict: Undecided. Los Angeles re-acquired the two 2nd rounders they had shipped off to Buffalo for Robyn Regehr. So basically, the Kings picked up Regehr and McNabb for Deslauriers and Fasching. Deslauriers looks to be trying a career as an enforcer with upside; Fasching hasn't taken a huge leap forward this season but still owns a lot of potential. McNabb has combined solid possession numbers (2.2 SATF % Rel) and bone-crunching hits with some youthful mistakes.

April 5, 2014

Los Angeles Kings: James Livingston

San Jose Sharks: 2016 7th round pick (conditional)

Verdict: Undecided. Considering that Livingston played just 14 games with Manchester and was subsequently not qualified, I'd guess the Sharks never get this pick.

April 2, 2013

Los Angeles Kings: 2013 5th round pick (#146 Patrik Bartosak)

Montreal Canadiens: Davis Drewiske

Verdict: Undecided. Drewiske is a depth defenseman in the Montreal system, while goaltender Bartosak has enjoyed a solid debut season in Manchester. The Kings still have high hopes for the Czech netminder who learned English from Blink-182.

April 1, 2013

Los Angeles Kings: Robyn Regehr

Buffalo Sabres: 2014 2nd round pick (#60 Alex Lintuniemi), 2015 2nd round pick

Verdict: Wash. Tied into the McNabb deal, we'll have to see how Deslauriers and Fasching succeed. Regehr is one of Lombardi’s most controversial pickups. On one hand, he’s a warrior who helped a worn-out Los Angeles defense reach the 2013 Western Conference Finals; currently, he's still a minutes muncher for a winning team. On the other hand, he's a drag on possession who the Kings should have left "to a Western Conference opponent so that he would drag their numbers down." Either way, we can probably all agree that a high price was paid for his services.

February 23, 2012

Los Angeles Kings: Jeff Carter

Columbus Blue Jackets: Jack Johnson, 2013 1st round pick (#26 Marko Dano)

Verdict: Win. Taking on a contract that lasts until 2022 is always tough, but Carter’s contributions to two Cup winners, plus his continued elite play, will be tough to tarnish. Lombardi took advantage of then-Columbus GM Scott Howson’s problem with a disgruntled star in this classic two quarters for a dollar steal.

February 28, 2011

Los Angeles Kings: Dustin Penner

Edmonton Oilers: Colten Teubert, 2011 1st round pick (#19 Oscar Klefbom), 2012 3rd round pick (#91 Daniil Zharkov)

Verdict: Win. Can’t argue with a Cup. Penner was brought to the Kings to do essentially one thing: Score, which he failed at miserably. However, he brought something unexpected: Big playoff goals will ultimately define his reign here; he’s this LA team’s Robert Horry. Teubert has busted and Klefblom is starting to make a name for himself. The 21-year-old is Edmonton's second most-used defenseman this season.

March 3, 2010

Los Angeles Kings: Fredrik Modin

Columbus Blue Jackets: 2010 conditional 7th round pick (if Kings win 2010 Stanley Cup) (not exercised)

Verdict: Win. Modin played more than well enough in the stretch run and playoffs to earn one last NHL contract. Not bad for a guy who was acquired for literally nothing.

March 3, 2010

Los Angeles Kings: Jeff Halpern

Tampa Bay Lightning: Teddy Purcell, 2010 3rd round pick (#63 Brock Beukeboom)

Verdict: Loss. Besides the Dan Cloutier disaster, Lombardi’s worst Kings trade ever. Unlike Modin, Halpern was a bad fit for the Kings. More importantly, Purcell has developed into an excellent NHL forward (career 2.6 SATF % Rel).

March 4, 2009

Los Angeles Kings: Justin Williams

Carolina Hurricanes: Patrick O’Sullivan, 2009 2nd round pick (#51 Brian Dumoulin)

Verdict: Win. Like the Carter deal, Lombardi sold high on a lesser player to gamble on a superior, but not without baggage, player. The 2014 Conn Smythe winner has bounced back convincingly from fluke knee, hand, and foot injuries, while O’Sullivan shortly found himself out of the league. The Carolina Hurricanes included Dumoulin in their 2012 trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for Jordan Staal.

February 26, 2008

Los Angeles Kings: 2008 7th round pick (#185 Paul Karpowich)

Anaheim Ducks: Jean-Sebastien Aubin

Verdict: Undecided. But it’ll be no worse than a Wash as Aubin never played another NHL game after this deal. The 2008 7th round pick was dealt to the St. Louis Blues for a 2009 7th round pick which was used on center Nic Dowd (#197), who’s still a legitimate Kings prospect. Dowd, who's vying to be the third Alabaman to make the NHL (after immortals Aud Tuten and Jared Ross), has a degree in bio-medicine!

February 26, 2008

Los Angeles Kings: 2008 2nd round pick (#61 Peter Delmas), 2009 4th round pick (#119 Ben Chiarot)

Detroit Red Wings: Brad Stuart

Verdict: Loss. Stuart would’ve fit well on Los Angeles’s blueline as the team got better. That 2008 2nd round pick was sent to the Colorado Avalanche for Brad Richardson and the 2009 4th round pick was packaged in a deal with the Atlanta Thrashers for a 4th round pick that became goaltender Jean-Francois Berube (#95). Richardson was a middling utility forward who contributed a big goal in the team’s 2012 playoff run, while 2015 AHL All-Star Berube can still reverse this verdict.

February 19, 2008

Los Angeles Kings: 2008 3rd round pick (#88 Geordie Wudrick)

Philadelphia Flyers: Jaroslav Modry

Verdict: Wash. The Kings got back a decent pick for a player that they didn’t need; they just blew the pick.

February 27, 2007

Los Angeles Kings: Jamie Heward

Washington Capitals: 2007 conditional 5th round pick (if Kings re-sign Heward) (not exercised)

Verdict: Win. A cheap win. Heward didn’t do much for the Kings; however, he cost nothing.

February 27, 2007

Los Angeles Kings: 2007 5th round pick (#137 Joshua Turnbull)

Tampa Bay Lightning: Jason Ward

Verdict: Wash. Again, the Kings got back a pick for an extra, but didn’t do anything with it.

February 27, 2007

Los Angeles Kings: Johan Fransson, Jaroslav Modry, 2007 2nd round pick (#52 Oscar Moller), 2007 3rd round pick (#82 Bryan Cameron), 2008 1st round pick (#28 Viktor Tikhonov)

Dallas Stars: Mattias Norstrom, Konstantin Pushkarev, 2007 3rd round pick (#64 Sergei Korostin), 2007 4th round pick (#94 Maksim Mayorov)

Verdict: Wash. Fransson hasn’t played in the NHL yet. The 2008 1st round pick was traded to the Anaheim Ducks to move up higher, and the Kings eventually chose Colten Teubert (#13), which led to Penner. But my overall feeling about this trade is that more could’ve been done with it, especially the Moller and Cameron picks. That said, after flourishing in the SHL in recent years, Moller is 3rd in team scoring to LA draft pick Justin Azevedo in the KHL. So he may still find his way here. All in all, fine acquisition of assets, not so precise execution. Dallas eventually turned the 2007 4th round pick into three 2007 5th rounders. And one of those 5th rounders? Jamie Benn.

February 26, 2007

Los Angeles Kings: 2007 2nd round pick (#61 Wayne Simmonds), 2008 4th round pick (#101 Justin Jokinen)

Vancouver Canucks: Brent Sopel

Verdict: Win. Brent Sopel had no future with a rebuilding squad in Los Angeles. Simmonds played well for the Kings and was eventually dealt in a package to the Philadelphia Flyers for Mike Richards. The 2008 4th round pick was relayed onto the Buffalo Sabres so Lombardi could move up in that round for defender Andrew Campbell.