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This time, the Kings will keep watchful eye on sticks

General Manager Dean Lombardi says the team doesn't have any illegal sticks. Still, the Kings will have a security team guarding the sticks between the morning skate and game time.

May 28, 2012|By Chris Foster
  • Are the Kings celebrating a goal or making sure all their sticks are legal? You be the judge.
Are the Kings celebrating a goal or making sure all their sticks are legal?… (Tony Gutierrez / Associated…)

The Los Angeles Times has swooped in to save the Kings.

General Manager Dean Lombardi believed he had thought of everything as his team trekked east to play the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final.

What about the sticks?

Ever since Marty McSorley was caught with an illegal stick late in Game 2 of the 1993 Final, the Kings have contended that the Montreal Canadiens had worked on inside information, with Luc Robitaille going so far as to say, "I heard a security guard looked the other way and they grabbed sticks and measured them."

So The Times asked the question …

The Kings will have a security team guarding sticks between the morning skate and game time Wednesday, right, Mr. Lombardi?

Lombardi: "We don't have any illegal sticks."

So no one will be guarding the sticks?

Lombardi: "We don't have illegal sticks. This is good, I feel like one of those Mafia guys who gets in front of Congress."

So will someone be guarding the sticks?

Lombardi, laughing, had trouble completing a sentence: "No ... but it doesn't concern … the players ... with all the things we have to focus on, you know … you handle it like back then, the coach tells you not to have an illegal stick and you don't … trust your players."

Finally, Lombardi came clean on the vital security issue, saying, "I never thought of it, to be honest with you. Now you're messing with me. Now I'm wondering. I got two security guys going on this trip to make sure people aren't coming up in the hotel. Now you get me thinking maybe I've got to get a third to guard their sticks. We didn't have that on the checklist."

Is it on the checklist now?

"I'm not giving you the satisfaction," Lombardi said, laughing.

You're welcome, Kings fans.

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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