There is no denying that General Manager Dean Lombardi has built the Kings into a consistent franchise. Still, it may be time for fans to revisit Dave Taylor’s years as general manager.
The overall talent has been greatly improved under Lombardi. Yet, where would the Kings be without Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick.
Mistakes were made under Taylor’s regime … anyone remember Sean Avery? There were also moves that are roots to the team’s current success.
Brown: He was a first-round pick in 2003. He is described as a “gritty” goal scorer. He brought something else as well. That was clear the first weeks of the 2005-06 season. Brown, then a 20-year-old, leveled three future NHL Hall of Famers Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger and Joe Sakic. A little grit, a lot of hit.
Kopitar: Who was drafting players from Slovenia in 2005? Well, Taylor’s team knew what they were getting. His scouting report said he lacked only muscle and strength -- every 18-year-old athlete needs more muscle. By the end of Kopitar’s rookie season in 2006-07, many NHL teams were adding Slovenia to their travel itineraries.
Quick: In the third round of the 2005 draft, Taylor took the back-up goaltender at Massachusetts. He had potential. Yet when Lombardi arrived in 2006, he grabbed goaltender Jonathan Bernier with his first draft pick. Bernier is now with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Quick is on the verge of his second Stanley Cup.
Taylor missed on a few picks. He was hamstrung by financial constraints. There were some ill-advised trades. But the Kings do not have a Stanley Cup -- now likely two -- without Brown, Kopitar and Quick.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun