LA Kings: Three best trades made by Dean Lombardi

Dean Lombardi, President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Kings(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Dean Lombardi, President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Kings(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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LA Kings (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

LA Kings Acquire Justin Williams From the Carolina Hurricanes for Patrick O’Sullivan and a 2009 Second-Round Draft Pick

The LA Kings, during the 2008-09 season was in the midst of another losing season. But the future remained bright. Drew Doughty was in the middle of a promising rookie season, Anze Kopitar led the team in points, and Jonathan Quick was playing in his first full season in the NHL. Dean Lombardi saw the potential these players had but knew additional pieces needed to be brought in. Carolina Hurricanes winger Justin Williams would turn out to be one of those pieces.

The price for acquiring Justin Williams from the Hurricanes during the mid-season trade deadline was relatively high. Having to part with Patrick O’Sullivan must not have been easy for Dean Lombardi. Coming off a good first full season with the LA Kings in 2007-08, in which he scored 53 points and played in all 82 games, O’Sullivan was putting together another strong season in 2008-2009. A second-round pick was also included in the trade to pry Williams from the Hurricanes.

It is interesting to consider that while O’Sullivan had good years with the LA Kings, Justin Williams struggled. In September 2008, Williams tore his right Achilles tendon in an offseason workout, sidelining him for three months. In December of that year, he would come back to play in 32 games for the Hurricanes only to be injured again, breaking his left hand from a teammate’s slapshot. This was of no concern to Lombardi as he decided to trade for Wiliams while he was still on the injured reserve.

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Speaking with, Lombardi did not seem too worried about the recent injuries Justin Williams had suffered.

"“As far as injuries, I don’t think he’s injury-prone,” Lombardi stressed. “I guess you take a risk with any player, but Williams is not a soft player. He will play hurt and he’s only 27 years old. This is not an old player and he’s signed for three more years.”"

Also in the interview, Dean mentioned the competitive drive Justin Williams brings on the ice and also gave a hint to a future deal.

"“Williams is a competitor,” said Lombardi. “He was a late first rounder. One of the reasons he fell was because he wasn’t a great skater at the time. But just like Mike Richards, everyone overlooks his hockey sense and his competitiveness.”"

Dean Lombardi’s confidence in Williams’ competitive drive would prove beneficial, as his contributions were imperative to the LA Kings’ success and two Stanley Cup wins. And his success was rewarded as he won the Conn Smythe as the NHL’s Playoff MVP during the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship run.