From The Ice

Friedman outlines Lombardi’s mindset with Kings’ assistant coaches

(Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire)

Elliotte Friedman was on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 on Tuesday morning.

On the Calgary Flames head coaching search for Brad Treliving, trying to figure out with whom he’s spoken, and how there have been no conversations with John Stevens or Davis Payne from the Los Angeles Kings because Dean Lombardi isn’t allowing it:

“This is the story I was told. The Kings are – Dean Lombardi is very honest with people he signs to contracts. First of all, he takes care of them. John Stevens, I believe, is the highest-paid assistant coach in the NHL. So they pay pretty well.

“But also, when he signs you, he makes it difficult for you to leave while you’re under contract. He’ll put escapes in for certain situations. One of their assistant GMs there is Mike Futa. When the Toronto job was open last year, I believe Futa had an opening to interview in Toronto, but he didn’t have it anywhere else. So if anywhere else asked, Lombardi would make it very tough for them to get permission. So there’s one issue.

“The second thing is, Lombardi believes if he’s going to let his people interview, he wants to know that they’re legit candidates. He doesn’t like letting people interview if they’re just one of 30 guys, and you want to talk to everybody. He wants a commitment that they are a serious contender for your job.

“I guess he didn’t get that assurance. I’m not 100 percent certain, like I said, but I was told he didn’t get that assurance, so he didn’t allow it. And that is consistent with the way Lombardi has operated in the past.

“Plus also, don’t forget Darryl signed a two years plus an option now. One of those two guys is taking over for him. So he wants that option too. It’s not only that you’re taking a guy off his staff, but you’re also taking a potential future head coach of his own team off his staff. So he wants assurances that they are going to be a legit contender, and if he doesn’t get them, he doesn’t give permission. And I think that’s what happened in this particular case.”

Source: Sportsnet 960/ Transcript: Nichols

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