That was a clear indication of the difficult chore Dean Lombardi had taken on as the Kings president and general manager. In a world of instant see-it-now technology -- e-mail, high-speed Internet access and real-time video -- some front-office employees were still banging away on typewriters.
Lombardi, the San Jose Sharks' general manager for eight seasons, was hired in April to replace Dave Taylor after the Kings failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs for a third consecutive season. He has spent the last two months bringing the franchise into the new millennium.
That has led to an extensive makeover, with Lombardi cleaning out an organization that had become old-boy-network cozy, according to those familiar with the team.
Still, Lombardi is left with a sense of how far the franchise needs to go.
The next step is today, when the Kings have the 11th pick in a draft that is considered weak. Lombardi has yet to make a player personnel move, but he has hardly been idle.
"The biggest surprise to me was when I sat here after a couple weeks, exhausted, and I didn't think we had gotten anywhere," said Lombardi, who sidestepped when asked about the typewriters.
"I had not made any player decisions. It was the realization of how much work goes into building infrastructure. It was a revelation. I took all that for granted what I had in San Jose."
Lombardi has begun to reshape that infrastructure, hiring people for the front office who had no ties to the Kings. Taylor seemed to prefer the opposite.
Ron Hextall, director of player personnel for the Philadelphia Flyers, was hired as the assistant general manager and Mike O'Connell, fired as the Boston Bruins' general manager in March, was brought in as a player development consultant. Marc Crawford arrived as coach, bringing with him an impressive resume from his time with the Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche.
And others under consideration for front-office jobs probably wouldn't know the Miracle on Manchester from the Miracle of the Marne.
"That organization hasn't done much in the last 20 years," one former general manager said. "They needed to make big changes and get new people in there."
Lombardi met with billionaire Philip Anschutz, the Kings' owner, and Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, this week and presented proposals on how the team should proceed. According to a league source, those plans range from tearing the organization apart and then rebuilding -- an idea that makes those in the team's marketing department cringe -- to trying to patch the holes on the fly.
"This is the type of thing that should have been done 12 months ago," Lombardi said before that meeting. "You have to be ahead of the curve. Instead of one-, three- and five- year plans, they seemed to be running on 24-hour lead time."
Whatever plan is adopted, it will take time to implement.
"To get back to where we had it in San Jose is going to take three years," Lombardi said.
It also doesn't help Lombardi that the Ducks experienced just-add-water-type success under first-year General Manager Brian Burke, reaching the Western Conference finals last season. But the fixer-upper Lombardi inherited needed more than a coat of paint and a Sergei Fedorov trade.
The Kings have won only one playoff series since losing in the 1993 Stanley Cup finals and suffered late collapses the last two seasons.
Taylor, the Kings' general manager since the 1997-98 season, and much of the front-office leadership were fired the day after the season ended. The rest were moved out by Lombardi, including the lower levels of the team's support staff -- equipment, medical training, video.
"I think they had a good run," former Kings coach and current ESPN analyst Barry Melrose said of the Kings previous hierarchy. "The bottom line in hockey is you got to win. This is a business, and you don't just get to be average.
"Ownership probably felt they need new blood and fresh thinking. That's the direction they're going."
Lombardi now will make his first public player decisions today in the draft. He has said he wants to rebuild the Kings through the draft, but that won't be easy.
"One problem is the Kings have been a team not good enough to go far in the playoffs but not bad enough to get a top-three pick," Lombardi said. "It's the NBA quagmire."
Still, it's up to Lombardi to develop a strategy.
"What is needed is a broad-ranged plan so we know where we want to go with this team," he said. "Do we want to be competitive, do we want to win a playoff round or go for the Stanley Cup? All those goals are different."
No matter the goal, one thing is certain: It will not be written on a typewriter.