Doesn't the modern-day sports star go to
On Friday, the
The trade came several hours before the
After their first-round selection, the Ducks traded veteran forward
Kings General Manager
"I do think every player on our team just grew three inches and put on 10 pounds of muscle," Lombardi said Friday on a conference call. "So that don't hurt."
The Bruins also will pick up $2.75 million of Lucic's $6-million salary for next season, no small issue in a world constrained by salary caps. Boston drafted Lucic, and he won a
"I had a lot of mixed emotions in the last 48 hours," Lucic said in a telephone call from Kelowna, British Columbia. "I kind of had that nervous, anxious, excited, sad, all-in-one feeling, going on in my stomach this morning. Like something big was going to happen."
Lombardi, whose team missed the playoffs this past season after winning the Stanley Cup in 2014, looked at his organizational charts and boxes and seized the chance to check the power-forward/left wing box.
"It's the Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy-type trio that most people think is the ultimate-type line," Lombardi said of the
"To get a player like Clark Gillies, there's not many like this in the league, that can play with top players and bring that element."
It's a big price for the Kings to pay for a player who will be an unrestricted free agent after next season. Lucic's production was down this past season with the struggling Bruins, a 15-point drop from the previous campaign.
But the chance to work with a playmaking center like the Kings' Anze Kopitar and the speedy Gaborik could spark a reversal for the 27-year-old. That, and the big picture of joining the two-time Stanley Cup champions and trying to help them win another one. Lucic scored his first NHL goal, against the Kings, in 2007 and even thought Los Angeles might end up drafting him in 2006.
"I get to move on to a team that already knows how to win," Lucic said. "They're not a team that's learning how to win or trying to make that step to win a Stanley Cup. They already know how to do that.
"If you look at the roster, I'd say we're definitely in the top two or three teams in the league as contenders."
If the trade had happened a day earlier, Lucic could have stayed in the area after his Disneyland visit to check out some real estate.
"I was just down there with my oldest daughter, enjoying taking her for her first time to Disneyland," he said. "It would have been nice to have gotten the news while I was down there so I could stay down there and enjoy the start of being a King a little bit more."
Now the park is a little closer.
"I guess I've got to get an annual pass now," Lucic said.
The Kings also took care of more business in the morning, reaching a two-year contract extension with forward Tyler Toffoli worth $6.5 million. He will make $2.6 million next season and $3.9 million in 2016-2017.
"It's still a good deal for him, but in no way did he say, 'I'm going to hold anyone hostage,'" Lombardi said. "If Tyler Toffoli doesn't step up and do this, we can't do this [Lucic] deal because then we would have exposed ourselves to an offer sheet.
"It's just exemplary for a young player to realize his time will come and take a good deal but not try and shoot for the moon. So the team is allowed to go out and make itself better."
There will be other changes for the Kings. Soon-to-be unrestricted free-agent forward