Lombardi gets explanation on Doughty incident
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, initially irate that no penalty or supplemental discipline was imposed on Carolina’s Erik Cole for the play that will knock stellar defenseman Drew Doughty out of the lineup for "a minimum of seven days," was calmer late Thursday after he talked to NHL executives.
He said they told him the collision in the first period Wednesday was "incidental contact" and did not warrant a fine or suspension. according to the new rule adopted to severely punish illegal hits to the head.
"What they said is that [Cole] wasn’t necessarily trying to hit Doughty but they both turned," Lombardi said. "Whether you agree with that or not, the logic, I get. It’s not inconsistent with the way the rule is designed."
He said a similar thought process was invoked in the Kings’ game at Calgary on Oct. 10, after Kings winger Kevin Westgarth clipped Flames winger Rene Bourque and Bourque suffered a concussion. He missed two games but returned to Calgary’s lineup Tuesday.
"It was two guys turning up ice," Lombardi said. "They pretty much said this was the same thing. As long as it’s consistent, I get it."
We'll have more later from the Kings' game against the Coyotes.
-- Helene Elliott, in Glendale, Ariz.