Kings’ Dean Lombardi has busy draft weekend

Dean Lombardi’s to-do list shortened … a bit.

Still, the Kings president and general manager was sounding tired — even over the phone — after the second day of the NHL’s Entry Draft in Pittsburgh.

In two days, he re-signed forwards Jarret Stoll and Colin Fraser and the Stanley Cup champion Kings selected six players in the draft, one Friday in the first round and five more in rounds two through seven Saturday.

Lombardi is expected to meet with forward Dustin Penner in the next couple of days. Additionally, plans are coming together for the team’s approach to the start of free agency July 1.


“We’re the flavor of the month. Six months from now I’ll be an idiot again,” Lombardi said in his usual self-deprecating manner.

That sunny observation came when he was talking about former Kings coach Terry Murray, who is poised to rejoin Philadelphia’s organization, possibly in its minor league system. The Kings’ success has enhanced Murray’s reputation as an effective teacher, and Lombardi also said there was some interest around the league in Murray as a head coach.

Murray scouted the Devils-Rangers series for the Kings. Lombardi said that Kings owner Phil Anschutz called Murray wanting to let him know he would be getting a Stanley Cup ring.

Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren told reporters in Pittsburgh that nothing had been solidified with Murray. Holmgren, in fact, was one busy general manger during and after the draft.


Late Saturday afternoon, he sent winger James Van Riemsdyk to Toronto in exchange for defenseman Luke Schenn. The trade means that Schenn will be playing with his brother Brayden, who was drafted by the Kings and ended up in Philadelphia in the Mike Richards deal.

That development would appear to quell any trade discussions involving the Ducks and Flyers on the Bobby Ryan front. An unhappy Ryan voiced frustration over repeated trade rumors, and Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said he planned to meet with Ryan.

The Ducks made seven selections in rounds two through seven, making the biggest splash by selecting a local teenager. They took left wing Nic Kerdiles of Irvine in the second round at No. 36, the first time they drafted a player raised in Orange County.

Kerdiles, heading to the University of Wisconsin, not only attended Ducks games in their Stanley Cup run in 2007 but also managed to go to Kings playoff games this year.

The 18-year-old, who was born in Texas and has a French father and French-Canadian mother, didn’t hesitate when asked whether he remembered his first Ducks game.

“I was 9 years old and I believe they played the Dallas Stars because I loved watching Mike Modano and he was one of my idols,” Kerdiles said from Pittsburgh. “That was a special day for me.”


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