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KINGS HIRE DEAN LOMBARDI AS PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER

Friday, 04.21.2006 / 12:31 PM / Los Angeles Kings | News
Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings have named Dean Lombardi the Kings President & General Manager, Kings Governor Tim Leiweke announced Friday, April 21st at a press conference at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.

Official Press Release:
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have named Dean Lombardi the Kings President & General Manager, Kings Governor Tim Leiweke announced Friday at a press conference at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.

Lombardi -- formerly a member of the San Jose Sharks front office for 13 years, including seven seasons as General Manager, and most recently a Pro Scout for the Philadelphia Flyers the last two seasons -- replaced Dave Taylor who was relieved of his duties on Tuesday. Lombardi has signed a multi-year contract with the Kings.

"I'm excited about the opportunity I have been given here with the Kings," said Lombardi. "I chose Los Angeles because I feel there is a solid foundation to build upon and the chance to work in a market that is recognized around the League as one that is filled with passionate fans who feel a great excitement about their team."

Said Leiweke: "These recent changes have not been easy. But after making some difficult decisions, we wanted to find somebody who brought a new level of intensity and a fresh vision toward this organization. We were fortunate to be able to speak with a number of qualified and capable individuals, but the one person who impressed me with not only his track record but also his intensity toward the game and the league was Dean. There is no question in my mind that Dean will give us a realistic chance of competing for the Stanley Cup long-term. These have been difficult decisions and there will be more difficult decisions ahead of him, but with that said we feel that we have a real opportunity to create a special organization. Dean's decision to join our organization is a huge step forward and sends a strong message to this industry about the direction we are headed."

Lombardi, 45, has 18 years of National Hockey League front office and scouting experience and a well-earned reputation for being one of hockey's true visionaries while possessing a solid track record of success. He becomes the eighth General Manager in the Kings' 39-year history and is solely responsible for all hockey operations decisions, including all player-personnel moves at the NHL level, directing the professional and amateur scouting staffs, negotiating all contract matters, and overseeing the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings' primary affiliate.

During his tenure as General Manager in San Jose from 1996-2003, Lombardi helped build the Sharks into one of the premier teams in the NHL. Under Lombardi, San Jose reached the playoffs five times – highlighted by two trips to the Western Conference Semifinals – and one Pacific Division title in 2002 after his club earned a franchise-record 99 points. The Lombardi-led Sharks in 2002 also tied an NHL-record with consecutive seasons of improved point totals (Bill Torrey/New York Islanders) while building a roster that became progressively younger in age each season.

During his time as General Manager in San Jose, Lombardi made many key personnel and player moves – stocking the Sharks organization with a good mix of veteran stars and up-and-coming youngsters -- that helped make the Sharks legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.

From the NHL Entry Draft, Lombardi brought to San Jose players like Patrick Marleau, Vesa Toskala, Jonathan Cheechoo, Brad Stuart, Scott Hannan, Marco Sturm, Marcel Goc and Christian Ehroff. The Hockey News ranked the Sharks' prospects (age 22 and under) as the best in the NHL in 1999-00 and second best in 2000-01.

Lombardi's history in San Jose as it relates to trades and free agency is impressive as well, having brought in such players as Owen Nolan, Teemu Selanne, Adam Graves, Vincent Damphousse, Mike Ricci, Kyle McClaren, Mike Vernon, Todd Harvey, Bryan Marchment and Scott Thornton. In addition, Lombardi was able to keep goalie Evgeni Nabokov during the 2000 Expansion Draft (from two new teams) and he hired Darryl Sutter to be the club's head coach in 1997 and Ron Wilson in 2002.

An executive in the San Jose front office since 1990, Lombardi first served as Assistant General Manager – a post he held the previous two seasons with the Minnesota North Stars – for the expansion Sharks before being elevated to Vice President, Director of Hockey Operations in 1992. Four years later, he was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager and given the responsibility of turning around the young franchise.

In his first season at the helm, the 1996-97 campaign, the Sharks finished with the fourth most improved victory total in the NHL to begin Lombardi's impressive streak of year-by-year improvement with San Jose, which included the five straight post-season appearances from 1997-02 when the Sharks were just one of seven NHL clubs to qualify for the playoffs during that five-year stretch.

Prior to taking over as the club's General Manager, Lombardi helped the Sharks construct a team that posted the greatest single-season turnaround in NHL history when the 1993-94 Sharks earned 82 points and the franchise's first berth in the playoffs after the team improved by 58 points from the prior season (the 1992-93 Sharks had 24 points). As General Manager, another one of Lombardi's many highlights was the Sharks' 2000 first-round playoff upset of the St. Louis Blues when San Jose, as the eighth seed, won a thrilling seven-game series over the President's Trophy-winning Blues.

Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and raised in nearby Ludlow, Lombardi received his undergraduate degree from the University of New Haven where he finished third in his class. On the ice he was the hockey team's captain his final two seasons, and he received a full athletic scholarship and the school's Student-Athlete of the Year Award. In 1985, Lombardi earned his Law Degree (with honors) from Tulane Law School where he specialized in Labor Law.

Prior to joining the North Stars, Lombardi spent three seasons as a player representative, including the representation of five members of the 1988 United States Olympic Team, and at the time he joined Minnesota's front office Lombardi was only the second former player agent to be employed in an NHL front office (Brian Burke/Vancouver Canucks was the other).

CURRENT SHARKS MAKE-UP
18 of the 28 players on the current San Jose Sharks post-season roster for the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs were acquired (via draft, trade or free agency) during Dean Lombardi's tenure with the club:

D – Kyle McLaren (acquired via trade, January of 2003)
D – Rob Davison (1998 NHL Entry Draft)
D – Josh Gorges (signed as a free agent, September of 2002)
C – Alyn McCauley (acquired via trade, March of 2003)
C – Marcel Goc (2001 NHL Entry Draft)
C – Patrick Marleau (1997 NHL Entry Draft)
RW – Jonathan Cheechoo (1998 NHL Entry Draft)
C – Mark Smith (1997 NHL Entry Draft)
LW – Scott Thornton (signed as a free agent, July of 2000)
G – Evgeni Nabokov (1994 NHL Entry Draft)
D – Jim Fahey (1998 NHL Entry Draft)
D – Scott Hannan (1997 NHL Entry Draft)
LW – Ryane Clowe (2001 NHL Entry Draft)
G – Nolan Schaefer (2000 NHL Entry Draft)
G – Vesa Toskala (1995 NHL Entry Draft)
C – Tomas Plihal (2001 NHL Entry Draft)
D – Doug Murray (1999 NHL Entry Draft)
D – Christian Erhoff (2001 NHL Entry Draft)

SIGNIFICANT DRAFT PICKS

...With Lombardi as Sharks General Manager

2002: Mike Morris, Dan Spang
2001: Marcel Goc, Christian Erhoff, Tomas Plihal, Ryane Clowe
2000: Nolan Schaefer
1999: Jeff Jillson, Niko Dimitrakos, Doug Murray
1998: Brad Stuart, Jonathan Cheechoo, Rob Davison, Jim Fahey
1997: Patrick Marleau, Scott Hannan, Mark Smith
1996: Andrei Zyuzin, Marco Sturm

...With Lombardi in the Sharks front office, prior to being named General Manager

1995: Vesa Toskala, Miikka Kiprusoff
1994: Jeff Friesen, Vaclav Varada, Evgeni Nabokov
1993: Viktor Kozlov, Shean Donovan
1992: Mike Rathje, Andrei Nazarov, Marcus Ragnarsson
1991: Pat Falloon, Ray Whitney, Sandis Ozolinsh

SIGNIFICANT PLAYER ACQUISITIONS – VIA TRADE

...With Lombardi as Sharks General Manager

2002-03: Alyn McCauley from Toronto; Kyle McLaren from Boston (signed him two days later)
2001-02: Adam Graves from the New York Rangers
2000-01: Teemu Selanne from Anaheim
1999-00: Todd Harvey from the New York Rangers
1998-99: Niklas Sundstrom from Tampa Bay; Vincent Damphousse from Montreal
1997-98: Mike Ricci from Colorado; Mike Vernon from Detroit
1996-97: Ed Belfour from Chicago

...With Lombardi in the Sharks front office, prior to being named General Manager

1995-96: Owen Nolan from Colorado; Ray Sheppard from Detroit
1993-94: Ulf Dahlen from Dallas
1992-93: Igor Larionov (1992 Waiver Draft)
1991-92: Doug Wilson from Chicago

SIGNIFICANT PLAYER ACQUISITIONS – VIA FREE AGENCY

...With Lombardi as Sharks General Manager

2002-03: Josh Gorges
2000-01: Bobby Dollas; Scott Thornton
1996-97: Ron Sutter; Tony Granato; Bernie Nicholls; Kelly Hrudey