Dean Lombardi Named Finalist for GM of the Year
Thanks, Marian Gaborik!
For the first time since the award was created in 2010, Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi is a finalist for the NHL's General Manager of the Year Award. From the NHL's announcement:
Under the direction of Lombardi, the Kings (46-28-8, 100 points) earned their fifth consecutive playoff berth, recorded their fourth 100-point season in franchise history and made their third straight appearance in the Western Conference Final. He solidified the team's blue line by re-signing defensemen Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin and Slava Voynov and did the same up front by bringing back Dustin Brown, Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis and Jordan Nolan. Lombardi then kick-started the club's offense with the addition of Marian Gaborik at the Trade Deadline; after being blanked six times in 63 games prior to his arrival, the Kings were not shut out once in the final 19 contests of the regular season with Gaborik in the lineup.
Also nominated were Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin and Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray. Both Bergevin and Murray were also nominated for this award last year; both lost to Ray Shero, who was fired last week. Heh.
Lombardi finished 12th in the voting last season, receiving just a single third place vote. It was the year after his team won the Stanley Cup, but it was also a year in which he did very little aside from acquiring Robyn Regehr. This year, he traded Jonathan Bernier for Ben Scrivens and Matt Frattin, which was a decent return but didn't blow anyone away. He again maintained the status quo going into this season, picking up Jeff Schultz and Daniel Carcillo while locking up a number of players to extensions. So Lombardi's getting nominated for three reasons:
- The Gaborik trade. Marian Gaborik's playoff success has made Lombardi the undisputed winner of the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline, that's worth a nomination alone.
- The Kings' current playoff success. Voting takes place after the second round of the playoffs, and LA came out of the meat grinder that is the Pacific Division.
- The Kings' past playoff success. Voting on this award was earlier in past years, and as such, Lombardi never got properly credited for his team's postseason runs. This is as much a legacy nomination as it is a nomination for this season.
Lombardi joins Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown as Kings who will be up for postseason individual awards. I hope he wins, just so we can watch his two-hour acceptance speech.