The Flyers officially announced the hiring of former Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on Sunday after reports of the hiring surfaced on Saturday.
Lombardi will assist general manager Ron Hextall in a front office role, though his title will not be assistant general manager. Ironically, Hextall himself had been hired by Lombardi in 2006 as his assistant GM with the Kings, a position he held for seven years before returning to the Flyers prior to the 2013-14 season.
Prior to the Flyers preseason opener on Sunday against the New York Islanders, Hextall confirmed the hiring and commented on it for the first time.
"He brings a lot of experience. He’s a sharp guy," Hextall said. "We’d have been foolish not to bring him on board. For me, it’s going to be another guy to run things by, and we’ll find some things for him to do."
While in Los Angeles, Lombardi was the President and GM for 10 years and has claimed a number of "records" of his own, including tenure (years and games – 704), wins (338 in the regular season and 45 in the playoffs) and points (766). With the hard and determined work of Lombardi, along with the rest of his staff, the Kings were not only became one of the elite clubs throughout the past few years, but they captured two Stanley Cups within three years.
Hextall worked very closely with Massachusetts native Lombardi to help draft or trade for some of their elite players of those championship teams, such as Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson, Alec Martinez, Justin Williams and Drew Doughty.
Lombardi also brought in two former Flyer coaches to the LA organization during his tenure, Terry Murray and John Stevens. Stevens is now the head coach of the Kings.
Lombardi was also a scout for three years in Philadelphia between his time with San Jose -- 13 years as GM -- and Los Angeles.
Some advantages to Hextall reaching out to his old friend are because Lombardi not only has a hockey playing background at the college level but is also an attorney, which is a vital in the cap and free agency era. Another gain Lombardi could bring to the Flyers front office is a strong knowledge of the personnel in the NHL Western Division, as he has much more experience as a GM than does Hextall, which gives him important "institutional memory" about the NHL.
Hextall also mentioned in his comments on Sunday that he will have Lombardi work on "projects" during his time here in Philadelphia. So the former mentor of the Flyers GM now has reunited with him, bringing Hextall's path to front office leaders full circle.