Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi is flanked by Coach Darryl Sutter,… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)
Dean Lombardi was sounding more like a general than a general manager for a few minutes Friday when he was discussing his finalized contract extension with the Kings.
"Generals manage, soldiers win," he said, giving credit to players and ownership. Lombardi, a history and military buff, went on to bring up Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and compare the management of a hockey team to a military structure crafted in the Civil War era.
Lombardi, who was hired by the Kings in 2006, signed a contract extension through the 2016-17 season.
He wasn't the only key member of the franchise to receive a contract extension in the aftermath of the Kings' Stanley Cup championship. Coach Darryl Sutter now has three more seasons after this lockout-shortened campaign, and Luc Robitaille, the team's president of business operations, received a multiyear extension.
""He's the guy that put all this in place," Sutter said of Lombardi, with whom he also worked in San Jose. "That's what is more important."
Sutter, who likes to do his share of pacing, recently summed up Lombardi's proclivity for worrying, calling it "constructive paranoia," according to the GM.
"Trust me, having won, that part hasn't changed," Lombardi said. "I think I'll still be pacing around. That isn't going to change.
"What [the players] want to accomplish here in terms of being one of the great teams of this era, you can never be satisfied. Some of those guys told me, once you win, you want to win again. That's [Tom] Brady's line."
Then Lombardi moved on from the New England Patriots quarterback to one of his players, suddenly remembering a conversation with Kings captain Dustin Brown a couple of days ago.
"Talk about a guy who has grown," Lombardi said. "He said, 'You know what, Dean, the one thing I realized now, when we lost in the first round the last couple of years, it didn't bother me. Now that I know what it's like to win, if we don't win again, I'm going to be [upset].'
"That's exactly what you want, right? That's the upside. Instead of the [Cup] hangover, so to speak, you've got a guy who says, 'Man, if we don't win, I'm going to be. . . ."
Forward Justin Williams missed Friday's practice because of flu symptoms and Lombardi was not sure if he would be able to play in today's season opener.
Center Anze Kopitar and defenseman Willie Mitchell will not play against Chicago because of knee injuries. Kopitar is much closer to returning than is Mitchell, who skated for the first time Friday, testing his knee for about half an hour after practice.
Mitchell had surgery to clean out some cartilage during the lockout and suffered a setback right after Christmas when he may have pushed too quickly.
"Just wear and tear of what we do," he said. "I've been doing it since I was 10 years old. Just starts to get you. It's not a big procedure. A lot of guys have this all the time."
Kopitar suffered a sprained right knee two weeks ago while playing in Sweden during the NHL lockout.
When: Noon. Where: Staples Center.
On the air: TV: Channel 4; Radio: 1150.
Record vs. Blackhawks (2011-12): 3-1.
Etc.: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed practice Friday in El Segundo but the team anticipates he will play today. Corey Crawford, coming off a 30-win season, gets the start in goal.