The Post said sources told them that the incident happened within the last two weeks, while Los Angeles was fighting for a playoff spot.
Lombardi says the report was “factually inaccurate” and that the meeting actually took place in February, when the team was in the midst of a three-game losing streak. After the meeting, the team won eight straight games.
“Theoretically, I have no problem with it,” Lombardi said to the Los Angeles Times. “In terms of what actually happened, maybe you don't have to go to that extreme.”
Los Angeles (40-27-15) missed the playoffs for the first time since 2009 but had the same record this season as it had in 2012, when it entered the playoffs as an eighth-seed and went on to win the Stanley Cup. The Kings are the first defending champion to miss the postseason since the Carolina Hurricanes in 2007.
Lombardi says players needed to take over the emotion in the room when having team meetings without coaches.
"The players, essentially, you want in charge of your room," Lombardi said. "Maybe the way to do it was: 'We don't need to hear from you now, we've got it.' Maybe you don't have to go to that extreme."
- Scooby Axson