The Galaxy during their White House visit last year. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty…)
Perhaps the Bruce Springsteen song “My Hometown” should have been playing in the background, the way Dean Lombardi was talking recently about his day with the Stanley Cup in Ludlow, Mass.
There will be more Stanley Cup memories when the Kings visit the White House later this season. AEG’s Tim Leiweke said that a visit has been tentatively scheduled and that the Kings and the MLS champion Galaxy will go on the same day.
In the meantime, Thursday’s kickoff event for the Kings at Staples Center was an interesting combination of looking forward as well as reliving their Stanley Cup run and the summer-long celebration.
The Kings general manager, Lombardi, of course, is already nervous about the preparations for the lockout-shortened season. Coach Darryl Sutter has been doing his lockout historical research and is mulling how to best get ready for a noon start on Jan. 19.
“I’m pacing now,” Lombardi said.
But he did take some time to reflect about his special day with the Cup in Ludlow.
“It’s a mill town,” Lombardi said. “What I loved about it the most was there were so many guys I played with, from 8 years old, all the way through college.
“It was really neat to bring all those guys together and not be at a funeral. Because it never happens. That number of people will never get in a room again. There’s two things once you get out – it’s weddings or funerals. We’re all too old to be getting married, well, some guys aren’t. But the other one is a funeral. It was really neat that thing was able to bring so many people together.”
For Sutter, it was another chance for another generation of his legendary hockey family to savor a day with the Cup in Viking, Alberta, Canada. He spoke about his parents, Louis and Grace, and how it was when his brothers won the Cup in their Islanders days.
His father died in 2005; his mother still lives in Viking.
“I’m sure she drew on all those old memories, too,” Sutter said. “The best part of me was seeing my brothers' children with the Cup in all of their old Islanders stuff. Because the kids weren’t born. There was only one was born and didn’t remember it. The others weren’t born yet. So they didn’t get to hold it or sit with it or any of that stuff.
“They got to do that and that was the best part.”
When the Kings and Galaxy visit the White House later this season, AEG’s Leiweke said, it will be quite a day.
“No one has ever done that before,” he told The Times' Helene Elliott. “We’re going to bring all of our guys back including [David] Beckham.
“If it works for the president, we will be there. He’s expecting us. When we were with him last year with the Galaxy I told him we’d be back. And he laughed. And then I saw him during the campaign and we looked back and laughed at that."