Some quick thoughts from the NHL on TSN panel on Tuesday night.
For Dean Lombardi to make the trade for Mike Richards last summer, you have to understand how Lombardi works.
He believes in a philosophy and has a plan. He has meetings to call meetings. He talks about how you have to collect all these young assets and young guys and you bring them together as a group and they all grow old together.
But at some point you have to start divesting yourself of all these assets and turn them into older, veteran players. And that's exactly what the trade last summer right at draft time represented when they got Richards from the Philadelphia Flyers and they gave up Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn.
Now Schenn wasn't a guy who had really played for the team and he was an asset. But Simmonds was a guy for the Los Angeles Kings who was considered a real core guy. He was supposed to be one of those guys that they build around and that they win a Cup with.
For Dean Lombardi to give up Simmonds, it would have to be a special player that would come the other way and I would suggest that you could count on one hand the number of players in the National Hockey League that Dean Lombardi would be prepared to give Simmonds up for.
And Richards, because there was a strong connection between Lombardi, Ron Hextall and the Philadelphia guys that came to LA from Philadelphia knew Richards and didn't buy into the party image that everyone else did.
Lombardi was convinced of the image that Richards was a winner and I think having him in that number two centre slot makes Kopitar a better player, makes Jarret Stoll better and it's just a ripple effect up and down the lineup.